Rahal loses ground in title fight after crash, attacks Vautier's driving

Title contender Graham Rahal was furious with Tristan Vautier and made sure he knew it at Pocono.

Rahal loses ground in title fight after crash, attacks Vautier's driving
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Tristan Vautier, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Tristan Vautier, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Tristan Vautier, Dale Coyne Racing Honda

Graham Rahal was far from pleased with Tristan Vautier after his three-wide dive to the inside ended with the duo crashing into the wall, dealing a significant blow to Rahal's title hopes.

At the time of the accident, he was running ahead of championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya. He entered this race just nine points behind, but leaves Pocono 34 off the Team Penske driver. His saving grace is that Sonoma (the season finale) has double points on the line. Still, he had some rather harsh words for the Dale Coyne Racing driver.

"He is not known as the sharpest tool around here," the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver said after leaving the infield care center.

I don't want to be the bad guy in this story

Tristan Vautier

"Unfortunately, just driving against a guy there who isn't using his head. He's a part-timer, trying to prove himself again. He did mistakes like this his first year, lost his ride and it's a hard thing. I think Tristan is a talented guy, but in a position like that, you just don't do that.

"The real shame of it is that it was a Honda that took us out. He probably just ruined Honda's chance at winning the championship."

Vautier defends himself

Vautier told TV that he had a strong run and felt he had the room and the time to make it work. "I felt like I was all the way alongside, I don't know, we were three wide and I don't think Justin knew that.

"I just tried to go down to the apron and brake, but it was too late. I feel bad that it is a championship contender and it was Honda.

"I feel really bad for the guys that crashed, we were looking to get to the end of the 500 miler. I didn't get any room. I feel bad. I don't want to be the bad guy in this story."

Rahal made a point of it to note that championship rival Scott Dixon raced him with more care than his fellow Honda driver did in comparison.

"Tristan - 'let's just shove it in here and take this guy out.' We were already two-wide. It was quite an impact.

"It hurts a lot. The likelihood is that Montoya will be on his game so we got some work to do. It just got a lot tougher. I knew this was a great opportunity for us. We were ahead of Montoya - just a few points, but that's all we needed. I just wanted to stay close.

"Now we're going to have quite an uphill battle and that's pretty frustrating." Afterwards, he tweeted...

Download the Verizon IndyCar 15 app for more information

shares
comments
Hunter-Reay wins carnage-filled Pocono race

Previous article

Hunter-Reay wins carnage-filled Pocono race

Next article

Justin Wilson in a coma, condition "critical"

Justin Wilson in a coma, condition "critical"
Load comments
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021