Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with Theodore Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 PennGrade Motor Oil Honda had a tough race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday.
Rahal qualified for the race in 17th place choosing an alternate strategy compared to his rivals and due to the fact that the race entire 80 lap race was run under green flag conditions there was very little room in which to play with the strategy.
Rahal made his first stop on lap 20 before making his second stop on lap 48, one lap earlier than expected which meant that he was forced to run the remainder of the race in a fuel conservation mode. Rahal found himself as high up the field as ninth however he ended the race in 15th place.
Speaking following the race Rahal commented by saying:
I think we just made some mistakes today overall and put ourselves in a bit of a bind. With our strategy, we really needed a yellow but it’s what we needed to do to try to make up some ground after starting 17th and we did there for a while. We coasted across the finish line with no fuel and barely made it. It kind of stunk for me today because I had a great car, I just couldn’t do anything. As a series we need to look at the way that we generate the downforce on these cars. We need to get rid of so much top side downforce, put the under wings back on. We all have the parts so it’s a no-expense addition that will allow everybody to follow closer and make the racing better. And the races need to be longer. That race flew by and it shouldn’t be borderline two stops, make it three and if you make it three the strategy calls would be a lot more fun and guys will be driving hard all the time. There will be more action for the fans. I’m proud of the PennGrade boys because they worked hard this weekend. I put them in a hole yesterday. And once again the stops were great.
The Verizon IndyCar Series moves on to Barber Motorsports Park next weekend for the final race before the month of May brings the Angier’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 29.