Rahal Takes First Oval Pole in Kansas
Always a threat on the street and road courses on the IndyCar Series circuit, Graham Rahal and his Newman Haas Lanigan team have now firmly established their high-speed oval-track credentials, taking the pole Saturday at Kansas Speedway in qualifying for Sunday's Road Runner Turbo Indy 300.
It will be a 1-2 start for the Newman Haas Lanigan team after the runs of the second- and third-fastest qualifiers -- Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves -- were disallowed for putting their left-side tires "out of bounds", below the white line separating the race track from the infield apron. Franchitti and Castroneves now will start at the rear of the 22-car field.
Sunday's 200-lap race, IndyCar's first oval race of 2009, starts at 5 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on The Versus Network starting at 4 p.m. EDT.
Graham Rahal (#02 McDonalds Newman Haas Lanigan Racing Honda) pole qualifier, his second pole of 2009, career first IndyCar oval pole: "Today's result just shows what this team has accomplished in the off-season. The difference between qualifying [14th] at Chicagoland [the final oval race of 2008] and qualifying here today is incredible. The car was excellent, even though I could definitely feel the wind out there, the car stayed free and fast. That's two poles in three races for us. I don't think anyone expected it, but we'll take it!"
-credit: honda racing