Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 One Cure Honda started Saturday night’s Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway from 12th place and finished the event inside the top ten in ninth place and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It wasn’t bad. I’m a little disappointed that we lost spots there. We were trying to go really long on our stints – which was the whole goal – and frankly, it should have worked. There were a couple of times there that yellows should have come out and they didn’t, and because of that, we paid the price running on old tires. Strategy and history shows that that’s the best way to do it, so we stuck to our plan but it didn’t quite work out today, but ultimately we got a top 10 for the One Cure team and that’s a heck of a lot better than we did last year here. We will just keep our heads down and keep pounding away. We’re not bad, but we need to continue improving on a day-to-day basis. We need to show up close (to the right setup) at Long Beach and we should be able to.
Rahal’s team mate, 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato in the No.30 MiJack Honda started the race from 13th place and finished the event in 11th. Speaking following the race the Japanese driver commented by saying:
It was a tough weekend. After we had the positive test, we came here and had a difficult time. Going into qualifying there were so many unknowns and we had to change the car so much. After that, it was the same scenario in the race. I never got comfortable. It was very tough out there, and in the end, the strategy did not play out well. We started 13th and finished 11th, so not a good weekend at all. The timing of the pit stop was key and I think we stayed out too long. When the tires started to go off, there was quite a battle. I was able to overtake a few cars. It was a frustrating night.