GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Unfortunately I saw in my mirror that Newgarden had stalled and I was thinking ‘There goes that.’ I was kind of excited about the start; I thought that it would be fun but then again I also wasn’t all that disappointed. I know the fans will be but to be honest IndyCar racing isn’t Formula One, it’s not about the standing starts. And I’m not sure we need them. Tradition in this sport goes back 100 years.
“My start was good, I think I passed four guys. I got by Sato and a couple of others in the second lap and felt pretty strong initially. The tires went away from me early and I struggled with the rears on the reds and we pitted to get on the blacks and unfortunately Vautier hit us as I was trying to pass Pagenaud. It was kind of a mess and Pagenaud appeared to be struggling with the rears (tires) so I was trying to get by him and Vautier drove over his head and I should have known it could happen. He couldn’t have even had his (car) nose next to my rear pod and the contact didn’t leave a mark on the tires which tells you something.
JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I was ready to make a standing start and it just didn’t happen which was a shame. I think the fans were looking forward to it too. I got a shocking start either way. Pagenaud nearly spun and I got boxed in. I got blocked to the inside on the initial start and lost a few positions there. We tried to work our way up but struggled. The track temperature came up and it really seemed to affect us. When its cool, we’re pretty quick if not one of the quickest cars out there. It’s a shame that we didn’t get tenth place. I made a mistake on the restart after the last caution and two cars got passed me. I’m disappointed but we’ll move on and see what we can do tomorrow."
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing