The Verizon IndyCar Series heads to California this weekend for the 85 lap Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which plays host to the second race of the 2017 season.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal heads into the race following a tough event at the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg last month where he finished the race in 17th place having started the event from 10th.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s event, Rahal stated:
Long Beach is such an iconic, historic race. It’s been going on for more than 40 years – forever. There is a lot of great history there and I have fond memories of finishing second there a few years ago (2013). It’s like my second hometown race now, so there is a lot of support from friends and family that come out. It’s a special event for us, and I hope we can get a win in the PennGrade Honda. A Rahal has never won at Long Beach but we have finished second five times combined. It’s a tough track, a track that I feel I have raced at so many times but every time I go there I feel like I am learning something completely new. I’m excited to get there just to get over what happened at St. Pete really.” (About the race being five laps longer in 2017 than 2016): “I think that is going to make it a lot better for the fans. You are going to see guys pushing a lot harder because if it’s green like last year, there is no way anybody will make it on fuel (on two stops). You might see some different strategies because it’s probably going to be firmly a three-stopper, so you will stick to that and have pretty big (pit) windows and see drivers try to pit at different times. It should make it a lot more exciting for everyone.
(Video courtesy of the Verizon IndyCar Series via youtube.com)