RAHAL STRUGGLES TO FIND SPEED ON THE STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG SFR's Graham Rahal Will Start 16th for Sunday's Race ST. PETERSBURG, FL (March 27, 2010)- Rahal, who will be making his third start on the streets of St. Petersburg, struggled to...
RAHAL STRUGGLES TO FIND SPEED ON THE STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG
SFR's Graham Rahal Will Start 16th for Sunday's Race
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (March 27, 2010)- Rahal, who will be making his third start on the streets of St. Petersburg, struggled to find speed early on Saturday morning before settling for 18th quick at the end of the first practice session. Rahal has turned a total of 90 laps thus far this weekend, with his quickest lap of 1:02.5044 coming during this afternoon's qualifying session, good enough to start in 16th position on the outside of Row 8 alongside Panther Racing's Dan Wheldon who clocked a time of 1:02.2557.
"It's been a tough day," said Rahal, who will also run for Sarah Fisher Racing at Barber Motorsports Park on April 11. "Obviously we're pretty far off. I'm not sure exactly what changes are going to be made overnight, but I know we're going to go back to the truck and bounce different ideas off of each other. To be quite honest with you, I've tried to think of all of the ideas that I can remember from years past that we've done and nothing seems to be working. The car reacts so little to every change we make, and I'm running out of ideas. The problem is that there's just no grip. No matter how hard I push it's just not there. We're just going to keep working at it tonight. Obviously we're not going to give up because you never know what can happen, but there's a lot of work to be done."
This afternoon marked team owner Sarah Fisher's first time observing qualifying as a team owner outside of the cockpit; watching from the timing stand as SFR driver Graham Rahal, who won the 2008 St. Pete race in his IZOD IndyCar® Series debut and was the pole sitter last year, took to the 1.8 mile, 14-turn temporary circuit.
"It's been a challenging day," said Fisher, who will make her 2010 season debut at Kansas Speedway. "We tried to go in what we thought was a better direction. We're just trying really hard to match the car to what we need it to be. It's our first road course event so it's been a difficult weekend. We've just got to keep working hard at it and put all of our heads together to come up with the best solution to start tomorrow with."