Sears Point: Rahal Letterman Racing Friday report

RLR AND RYAN HUNTER-REAY STRUCK WITH TRISKADEKAPHOBIA AT INFINEON INDYCAR PRACTICE SONOMA, California - No one gets lucky, 'till luck comes along - Eric Clapton Believe it or not, luck is a key component of racing success. The annals of...

RLR AND RYAN HUNTER-REAY STRUCK WITH TRISKADEKAPHOBIA AT INFINEON INDYCAR PRACTICE

SONOMA, California - No one gets lucky, 'till luck comes along - Eric Clapton

Believe it or not, luck is a key component of racing success. The annals of racing history are littered with stories where fast cars have run into bad luck situations that cost them races, and there are race winners that have been doomed to finish fifth before four cars crashed on the last lap to hand the driver the victory.

That being the case, the cards in the Great Deck of Karma appeared stacked against Rahal Letterman Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) on the first day of the weekend's IndyCar Series practice at Infineon Raceway. The team prepared the #17 Ethanol car in Garage #13, the squad was pitted in stall #13 on Pit Lane, and then after two practice sessions in Sonoma, Hunter-Reay looked up to the time charts and found himself - 13th.

"On a day like today, 13th feels like 26th to me," grimaced Hunter-Reay. "At the moment, the car is loose in a couple places, has push in a couple, and with a field that's this competitive, any little bobble can send you four or five places further down the grid. We've got a lot of work to do, but we're not as far off as we were on Friday at Watkins Glen, and we came back and qualified third there and won the race."

Hunter-Reay hung up a best lap of 1:18.302 (118.099 mph) around the 2.303-mile Infineon race circuit to post the 13th-best time of the afternoon session, shaving more than a half-second off his best time from the morning practice. He ran 25 laps in each of the two sessions, logging more than 115 miles on the day.

"It was obviously a frustrating day for us because we couldn't get in sync with the track and traffic today, which kept us from getting the most out of our tires," said Chief Operating Officer Scott Roembke. "We have some work to do, hopefully tomorrow when the field is split in half, we'll get some space on the track and get a better read on the car and be able to maximize our time on tires. We have some work to do , but I am confident that we'll get there."

The Ethanol machine will have another 30 minutes of practice session to prepare for tomorrow's Firestone Fast Six qualifying session. The field is split in half for the first session, while the top six in each session move on to a second outing. The top six out of that dozen drivers moves into the Firestone Fast Six, where times are erased and the six pilots have 10 minutes to post a polewinning time. Hunter-Reay is looking to get back in the Firestone Fast Six after failing to advance out of the first group in each of the last three road course events.

Locked in a three-way tie for eighth in the IndyCar Series standings, the team will be gunning for a strong qualifying result tomorrow, looking to earn a top-tier starting spot for Sunday's PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Car Grand Prix of Sonoma County.

-credit: rlr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay , Eric Clapton