RAINS HOLD OFF AS ...
RAINS HOLD OFF AS #30 QUICK TRIM/RLR SPECIAL GETS IN FULL INDY PRACTICE DAY
INDIANAPOLIS - As the loudspeakers kicked on this morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was only fitting that blues rocker Jonny Lang's Still Raining was the first song to greet the teams. After Monday rains scuttled any on-track preparations for the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500, Tuesday didn't appear to be any more promising as swollen gray clouds loomed large over the day's festivities.
But the rains held off, allowing Rahal Letterman Racing to put in another full day of practice for the May 30 event with Graham Rahal at the wheel of the #30 Quick Trim/RLR Special. Graham reeled off his fastest lap of the day just eight trips into his afternoon session, then spent the rest of the afternoon analyzing various changes in preparation for this Saturday's Pole Day qualifying.
"The car feels good, It's very consistent and it feels really good in traffic so far," Graham said after carding a best lap of 40.2912 seconds (223.429 mph). "We did our fast lap early in the day and then we just went to work on trying some changes and tweaking little things to fine-tune the car."
The day was cold and breezy and the threatening skies delayed the start of practice by 66 minutes but the Rahal Letterman Racing team put in nearly four hours of on-track work in as the day went on. The session ended 15 minutes earlier than anticipated after E.J. Viso crashed in Turn Four, necessitating a lengthy cleanup process. The #30 Quick Trim/RLR Special ended the day 20th on the speed sheets, but that was more a function of the practice plan of the team than an indictment of the car's power. The team ran 45 laps around the 2.5-mile oval Tuesday, after turning 43 on Sunday.
"I think we showed up and the car was already pretty close to where we wanted to be so now we are just trying to perfect a few things," Rahal reported. "We have done a great job in taking our time so far and making sure we are doing things the right way. We are still being pretty conservative on the downforce and the aero settings, probably more than most teams out here. The Firestone Firehawks have held up great for us, which has allowed us to conserve tires for the week as well. You can burn through tires pretty quick here if you're spending a lot of time on track running in the draft, We have done a great job trying to stay ahead of that."