McDONALD'S DRIVER RAHAL QUALIFIED FIFTH FOR THE CAMPING WORLD GRAND PRIX AT WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL BUT WAS PENALIZED 10 POSITIONS; DOORNBOS LIMITED TO 17TH PLACE START DUE TO PART FAILURE Graham Rahal, No. 02 McDonald's ...
McDONALD'S DRIVER RAHAL QUALIFIED FIFTH FOR THE CAMPING WORLD GRAND PRIX AT WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL BUT WAS PENALIZED 10 POSITIONS; DOORNBOS LIMITED TO 17TH PLACE START DUE TO PART FAILURE
Graham Rahal, No. 02 McDonald's Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
PRIOR TO THE PENALTY: "The McDonald's team just didn't have quite enough to make it through to the top of the final group. We progressed to all three rounds but we didn't have enough to make it to the top of the final group. I was hoping that when Dario crashed, that was going to be the end of the session and I thought third was just about as good as we were going to get but when we went green for one more timed lap a couple of cars got us. The McDonald's guys worked hard and we're close. Hopefully Lady Luck will be on our side tomorrow and we'll be looking pretty good. We just have to get a good start and stay clear of those around us and get to the end of this thing. (On why road/street course racing brings teams closer together in performance:) The better drivers show through here. From my perspective, on an oval you certainly can't make the car do any better than it's naturally going to on an oval whereas on a road course the driver definitely has more to do with the performance so I think the better drivers show through. There is far less development stuff you can do on a road course than on an oval and if you've got a good driver you've got a chance to do well on a road course."
At approx. 6:45 p.m. EDT Indy Racing League officials deemed Rahal's race car was in violation of Rule 13.4(C)(1)(b) and was under the minimum weight. He was penalized 10 positions therefore he will start 15th.
AFTER LEARNING OF THE PENALTY: "It's frustrating. There is some inconsistency because the car was overweight by five pounds when we went to tech before and now were underweight and we didn't change anything."
Robert Doornbos, No. 06 Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "We had a suspension problem in the morning practice and I only ran a few laps at speed but I was able to learn the course and I really like it. It's the type of course that suits my driving style and ability so it was a big disappointment that we had another problem in qualifying while we were in the top six that would advance to the next round but dropped out when we stayed in the pits due to the problem. Because this was only a two day weekend it made it even more devastating to not run much."
Brian Lisles, general manager for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing:
"We're very disappointed with our qualifying performance with Robert this afternoon. We had a failure of a component on the car which prevented him from having a second run in the first round of qualifying which is usually the quicker outing. We're very confident that had he had that second outing he would have made it through to the second round, and probably even further given his ability on road courses. We came here with high expectations and obviously we haven't managed to fulfill those thus far. However we do expect to be able to move up in the race and have a much better finishing position."