Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 Fifth Third Bank Honda who starts his home race at Mid-Ohio from second on the grid on Sunday, says that he feels confident going into the 80-lap race.

Speaking to Paddock Eye during a media conference call following qualifying for the race, Rahal said that he feels like the team’s race pace and old tire pace so far this weekend has been very, very good, and that is why they didn’t go to another set in this morning’s practice session because they were still within a couple of tenths of the best lap on lap 20 of the stint.

Rahal said that he feels good about tomorrow and will see what mother nature brings the teams, as he mentioned qualifying was meant to be a complete washout. Looking ahead to the rest of the road courses, Rahal said looking at Indy GP two, Laguna Seca, and Portland, and places like that, the team has made progress on their road course package.

Rahal went on to say that he is not too confident about Toronto next time out but they will wait and see what happens the focus is certainly on the race ahead in Mid-Ohio on Sunday.

Speaking following the action he said:

It’s a great time to get the Fifth Third Bank car up front and run it well. So obviously we’ve got a lot of laps tomorrow to keep it there. I’m so proud of everybody at RLL on the 15 of course, the 30, and the 45. Everybody has just done an amazing job of keeping our heads down in the midst of a tough season. We’ve got three cars in the top 12 again here and Christian and I went onto the Fast 6 and battle it out. I’m not going to lie; I thought it was a good lap and I knew it was solid so I was bummed to not get a pole. But it’s a heck of a lot further forward than I’m used to starting. I’m super proud of this guy Eddie (Jones, race engineer), Adam (Kolesar, performance engineer) and Mike Ciceralli (dampers) and everybody on this team who kept their heads down.
“I actually didn’t use a second set of new blacks this morning when most people did just to keep them for the Fast 6 and we ended up not using them so we’ve got tons of tire for tomorrow. But the reality is my gut felt that the pace of the reds was just far enough ahead that it’s going to be hard to get. That was a really solid lap. It wasn’t too scruffy. I thought there was maybe a little more here or there but not two more tenths or something. We only missed it by 0.04 but that’s INDYCAR racing right now. I think there’s four of us within 0.06 or 0.07. Our race pace is better than our qualifying pace so I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Jack Harvey starts the race from P11 and speaking following the action he said:

“Qualifying was pretty good on the whole for the team. In Q1, we felt pretty competitive. For Q2, we’re looking into why we went quite a bit slower in Q2 than Q1 which is pretty unusual. We left about a half a second of lap time so just trying to understand exactly what happened there. But, this was a huge team performance. I was about to be exceptionally happy for Graham. He was so close. I feel he doesn’t always get the respect he deserves as a driver so I was happy that he was able to go and maybe show some nay-sayers he’s still got some qualifying speed. I think on the whole it’s been a pretty good day for everyone at RLL and that’s just through unity and hard work.
“I think we’re in the fight no matter what the weather does and that will be the same for everybody if it changes then we’ve got to be proactive and quicky reactive. I think ultimately the No. 30 Permco Honda is in a good place to take advantage of what comes our way tomorrow.”

Christian Lundgaard in the No.45 VIVID Honda starts the race from fifth place and speaking following the action he commented saying:

It was a pretty good qualifying for the Hy-Vee VIVID Clear RX team. We got through to the Fast 6 and I honestly predicted before the session that we were going to be fourth and we ended fifth so I guess I nailed that one almost. But I’m a little disappointed. We had a radio failure in the Fast 6 where it just kept beeping. I could still hear my guys but it was beeping randomly which was a little annoying so going into high-speed corners and change of direction it was kind of scratchy. That’s a little disappointing but I’m glad for Graham to almost get a pole out here on the front row at his home track. Go Graham.”

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