McDONALD'S DRIVER RAHAL QUALIFIED FOURTH FOR THE INDY 500; DOORNBOS UNINJURED IN CRASH DURING MORNING WARMUP AND WILL RETURN TO TRACK MAY 14 Graham Rahal, No 02 McDonald's Dallara Honda/Firestone: "We knew that before (on first qualifying ...
McDONALD'S DRIVER RAHAL QUALIFIED FOURTH FOR THE INDY 500; DOORNBOS UNINJURED IN CRASH DURING MORNING WARMUP AND WILL RETURN TO TRACK MAY 14
Graham Rahal, No 02 McDonald's Dallara Honda/Firestone: "We knew that before (on first qualifying attempt) we weren't quite trimmed out, and there is probably still a little room to go even now, but we needed to go out there and give it another shot. We were completely legal, but there were some things that we felt we needed to improve on. Basically we felt we needed to go back out so we gave the McDonald's car another shot and it turned out even better than the first time and we ended up gaining two spots because right before we made our second run we were sixth. So we're pretty happy with fourth. We had one practice run before our second attempt at it was a little bit quicker so we decided to trim a little more. But when we went out we had a gearbox problem and it was 5 p.m. and people were starting to get in line so it was a little tense. The McDonald's guys changed the gearbox in pit lane and we had to make our qualifying run without a practice lap because of the time. They did a great job fixing everything so quickly and I was able to go out and put it on the second row. I would rather start from the inside of the second row than the outside of the front row so I'm pretty happy with how the day ended for the McDonald's team."
Robert Doornbos, No. 06T Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: On the crash: "I have no idea what happened. I'm so disappointed. The guys did an amazing job getting the car ready. We had a good first outing. Everything felt good. We were just starting a run and the rear just went on me. I don't know what happened. It's disappointing because I wanted to qualify today.
"Yesterday we got into a nice rhythm again in practice and found ourselves in the top-six. And then we just tried to simulate a qualifying run but that was a bit tricky with the other cars on track and it caught me out. I learned a very expensive lesson that you need to be really on your own to do a good comparison of qualifying and I was probably too close to the car in front, understeered, touched the wall and that was it. That was (the end of) our day. So then we worked hard overnight and got the spare car out this morning. I slept a little bit bad wondering if it would be a good car but after the first run when we were straight away competitive I thought 'Okay, this is going to be a good day.' But then we just couldn't pace ourselves; we wanted too much, too soon and that was it. It was a big shock for me to realize that I'm not going to be able to qualify in the top-11 on my first Indy debut. But a lot of people cheered me up by saying that it's such a long race and a lot can happen. I know we have the pace, I know we have the speed. The team is doing a good job and we will get back out there next week."