Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal heads to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, his second home race this weekend hoping to put the No.15 PennGrade Honda in victory lane following a tough season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg last month where he finished the race in 17th place having started from 10th.
Speaking about his second home race he 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 there 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.
It has been confirmed that this years race has been extended by five laps to 85 and speaking about the extended race distance Rahal commented by saying:
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 its green (the whole race) 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.
It has been an extremely busy month for Rahal as he has taken part in three Verizon IndyCar Series tests at Barber Motorsports Park, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday.
Rahal also spent time at Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway for a PR and media day while on Wednesday he will take place in a number of sponsor photo shoots before heading to Long Beach on Thursday.
Speaking about his recent schedule, Rahal stated:
It’s been so busy since the last race that I can’t even list off all of the places I’ve been. This year has been a very heavy demand on time. Just since St. Pete, we’ve had tests at Barber, Indy, Sonoma and a couple of media days for the series which has kept me hopping. We’re just all excited to get there and hopefully be competitive in Long Beach. It’s time to get back to racing.