Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 Steak N’ Shake Honda ended his 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a second place finish at the GoPro Grand Prix at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday.
Rahal ended the race just behind race winner and 2016 champion Simon Pagenaud despite a late charge by the American.
Rahal who had a tough season in 2016 compared to last year goes into the winter hoping to build on the momentum of his late season charge. Rahal took victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway where he beat Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s James Hinchcliffe by the slimmest of margins in the closest finish every recorded in the history of Texas Motor Speedway.
Rahal ends the year in fifth place in the Verizon IndyCar Series on 484 points and not only that he ends the season as the highest placed Honda powered driver.
Speaking following the race, Rahal commented by saying:
“For Steak ‘n Shake, United Rentals, Hyatt, PennGrade, all our other sponsors, and especially everyone we had here this weekend supporting us, it was a great way to finish the season. That means a lot. They have been supportive through thick and thin and they came out to support us today. It was also cool to have Sergeant Rose with us. He is paralyzed and he stood for the national anthem with us which was pretty awesome. We would have liked to get another win but we were struggling with the rear (of the car). Overall we had our ups and downs (this season) but I’m really proud of this team and proud to be the top Honda once again. We led the charge for them the last couple of years and they did a great job. I wanted to get (Simon) Pagenaud for the win but when I would get close, my car would get massively loose. I thought at one point that it was just best that I salvage a second place than do something stupid. We’re a one car team and obviously today we were fighting with the big boys — with Penske — who is the standard. To run like we did means a lot. It feels great to go into the off-season like this. Once again we proved that with the quality of the people we have in this organization, keeping their heads down and working hard puts us in the position to fight for wins. I’m proud and honored to work with these guys. We will be better next year.