Indy 500: Rahal Letterman Racing Opening Day report

GRAHAM RAHAL'S ...

GRAHAM RAHAL'S #30 QUICK TRIM/RLR SPECIAL BREEZES THROUGH OPENING DAY RUNS AT INDY

INDIANAPOLIS - Opening Day of the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 dawned brightly for Rahal Letterman Racing as the team announced its new partnership with Quick Trim®, with the diet and calorie-burning systems joining the team to be the primary sponsor of the #30 Quick Trim/RLR Special.

Following the announcement, Graham Rahal went out and made the day even brighter for the Ohio-based team as he breezed through his opening day requirements on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

Rahal and the team took part in the rookie orientation program on Saturday's opening day, quickly getting up to speed in a four-hour session that was broken up twice by lengthy rain delays. Rahal turned a quick lap of 40.919 seconds (219.943 mph) to put him second among those running in the rookie and refresher outings today.

The car felt really good and I was comfortable in it right away," Rahal said. "The big thing for us was to get some laps on the car so that we could get to work from a good starting point tomorrow. We were able to do that, and got great balance on the car in a very short time so we are very encouraged about what we were able to accomplish today."

Rahal ran his best time on the 12th of the 23 laps that he completed around the cavernous oval, but ran a number of laps in the 219-mph range as he eased through his refresher requirements. The 21-year-old driver will be looking to make his third Indianapolis 500 start this year and is optimistic after today's brief outing that he will have a chance to be at the sharp end of the field as next week's qualifying approaches.

"This might be the most comfortable car I've ever had here," Rahal reported. "We weren't using as much track as we have at some other times here and we were running pretty conservatively today. We just wanted to come in and get a baseline, get a good feel for where we are, but I feel very good about it just with what we did today."

Team co-owner and 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal was pleased with the effort of the #30 Quick Trim/RLR Special, and expected the team to have little trouble in finding the fast way around the track.

"I think we can get up to speed pretty rapidly," said the elder Rahal. "A lot of it depends on the guy in the seat, knowing what he wants in a car and really being able to get a good feel and be able to convey that, and I think we've got that with Graham. I think this race is unique and, therefore, that allows us to enter and be competitive even though this is the one and only event we're doing so far."

-source: rlr

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