Ups and Downs for Jack and Rahal on Indianapolis 500

Jakes led 5 laps but a pit penalty led to a 20th place; Rahal was 9th when a pit problem occurred and contact later resulted in a 25th place finish.

Graham Rahal, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We had a pretty good day. Unfortunately there was one pit stop that was absolutely terrible. After fighting from 26th up to ninth, or wherever we were at that point, I think we probably lost another six or seven positions on that stop so we put ourselves in a bad spot and tried to gamble a little bit on the last stint and pit early in the hope that maybe we would catch a yellow or there would be something like that.

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

To be totally honest with you, the car all day was a bit neutral, a bit nervous. I tried to keep adjusting it and had several massive snaps so I’m surprised we made it that far. The guys worked awfully hard so I’m obviously pretty bummed for the team and for Midas. I told dad the lap before ‘This thing is getting really loose.’ I tried to hold on to it but I was fully off the throttle and that was it.

I was probably pushing too hard to make up some spots and it snapped sideways in Turn 2. I tried to save it and it didn’t come back unfortunately. I thought it was a great race. We geared too short so I don’t think there was any way we could win today anyway.

I couldn’t pass anybody. I would get in a big tow and I would pull up and just stop. We didn’t have enough sixth gear in the thing. But that’s the way it is, sometimes you miss it. We’ll come back next year and do a better job.”

Fast facts: He started his sixth Indy 500 from 26th place. He pitted in ninth place for his second to last stop and his outside rear tire changer had a problem and Rahal returned to the track in 21st place. He was in 17th place with eight laps to go and lost control of his car in Turn 2 and made contact with the wall...

He ran in the top-five in four of his five previous races here. In 2008, with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he was the highest Indy 500 starter of the Champ Car transitioning teams with his 13th place qualifying effort but made contact on L36 after driving high to avoid the slower car of Lloyd and retired in 33rd place.

He qualified fourth for NHLR in the 2009 Indy 500 but made contact on L56 while fifth and retired in 31st. In 2010, he competed for his father’s team – RLL – for the first time in an Indy car. He qualified seventh and ran as high as second but a blocking penalty on L188/200 dropped him from third to a 12th place finish.

He qualified 29th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and earned his best finish at Indy to date of third place after he led six laps. In 2012, he qualified 12th, ran as high as third and finished 13th for SCCGR… This is Rahal’s first full season at RLL, sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seventh in a top open wheel racing series (CCWS 2007)...

His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th -- also in Long Beach… He is 16th in the series point standings with 82.

James Jack, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The Acorn Stairlifts team led some laps early on and set some of the quickest race laps. It was just frustrating; I made a mistake and forgot to reset the weight-jacker coming into the pits and just cleared out my crew. From then on it was playing on mind whether they were alright or not.

And believe it or not we did not get a caution from then on until the end. I couldn’t believe it. We have to take the positives from this though.

The car is good, we’re happy with the balance we have so we just have to move on to the other tracks and get some better results. We’re capable of it. They guys were great in the pits stops today. I just have to make sure I don’t make the same mistake again.”

Fast facts: He started his second Indy 500 from 20th place. He led the Indy 500 for the first time in his career when he took the lead from Laps 33-37. He also held the fastest race lap for a portion of the event but slid through his pit box on a stop near the midway point and made light contact with his crew which led to a Drive Through penalty on Lap 96 of 200 which put him one lap down.

He was unable to get back on the lead lap and finished 20th… He qualified 17th and finished 15th in 2012. In 2011, he attempted to qualify but the car was not fast enough. Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing… Jakes is competing in his third season in the IndyCar Series and first with RLL.

In 31 Indy car starts with Dale Coyne Racing from 2011-2012, his best finish was eighth at Toronto and series-best start of eighth was at Motegi… His best start to date this season is 11th at Barber and best finish is 12th at Long Beach although he had the potential to finish higher in each race… Is ranked 23rd in series standings with 68 points.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Graham Rahal , Chip Ganassi , Dale Coyne
Teams Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dale Coyne Racing
Article type Race report
Tags indianapolis 500, indycar, jack, rahal, rllr