Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal heads into this weekend’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway with plenty of momentum having scored three podium finishes including his double header victories in Detroit, a podium in Mid-Ohio and five to five finishes and speaking about his momentum going into the weekend, Rahal commented by saying:
The team absolutely has momentum. I think we are the hottest team other than Penske right now if you look at it across the board. We have been extremely strong at most races recently. We’ve got some big races coming up clearly and Pocono is going to be a big one that should suit the Honda really well. I think we learned a lot at Indianapolis that can translate to our Pocono setup. Hopefully we’ll be able to go out there, use the knowledge from Indianapolis and improve the setup to have a really competitive car. I think we have had a fast car there the last couple of years, particularly on race day but last year we had a puncture to the underwing after Takuma (Sato) crashed which really hurt us. There have been a lot of things that have gone against us in the races but hopefully we’ll have a good one.”
Rahal goes into this weekend’s race just 58 points behind series points leader Josef Newgarden and speaking about the points race he commented by saying:
“We’re 58 points out and I think we have been the most consistent car so we’re hoping to continue that. I think the Penskes have had advantages at certain tracks in general but Pocono should be one where we are very strong so my hopes and expectations are very high. Hopefully we can make it happen. Every race for us now is huge, points-wise, and Pocono will be no different. Every week is make-or-break for us; it’s crunch time so we need to go out there and have the absolute best result that we can. If that’s winning, we need to win, and if we have a seventh place car, we need to finish seventh at the worst.”
So how does Rahal approach a 500 mile race?
It’s always great to race in the 500-milers. The physical demands aren’t too bad but mentally it is. Mentally it’s long so you have to pace yourself, take care of your equipment and keep your eye on the prize which is getting to the end and being able to go for the win. I believe we’ve got the team to do it and the car should be right there. We should definitely be capable of making it happen.
The Indianapolis 500 helps Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing when it comes to the set-up of the No.15 Bobby Rahal Automotive Group Honda and speaking about this, Rahal commented by saying:
Coming out of Indianapolis set-up wise, we should have some good knowledge that we didn’t have going into the month but that we found very late in the month. We had very fast race cars and ran up front there so hopefully we can carry that forward and do the same at Pocono this weekend.
So what sort of racing from the Tricky Triangle are the team and Rahal expecting?
It’s always crazy, action-packed racing at Pocono. The cars punch a huge hole in the air. Guys will be able to tow-up on others really well and I think it will be a crazy, busy race as we’ve always seen.