Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 Fifth Third Bank Honda said his team’s strategy really paid off in Sunday’s race 2 in Detroit.
Following an issue in qualifying, Rahal was forced to start the race from the back in 22nd place, however this did not phase the Ohio native as he carved his way through the field to finish the race in 7th place.
Speaking following the action he said:
The strategy to start on primary tires played out. The yellow on Lap 15 or 16 kind of hurt those of us who were on that alternate strategy though. It let the group bunch back up but starting 22nd, you have to take a flyer (on strategy). We gained 15 positions today and there is no shame in that, we had a great day. I’m awfully proud of these guys and very thankful for the 30 car guys that pitched in and made it possible for us to get out there. Everything ran smoothly so we’re pretty happy with that.”
Takuma Sato in the No.30 MiJack Panasonic Honda started the race from 16th place and ran as high as 2nd before finishing 13th.
Speaking following the race he said:
There were a lot of up and downs today. We had a difficult qualifying (session) today. We were a second off the pace yesterday and today was 1.2 seconds. Being eighth in our group meant I started 16th so it was a bummer. We had to experiment with a different concept in terms of setup for the race and we just hoped we would be competitive. Starting the race, I was pretty lucky. There was a huge incident in Turn 3 and I was able to avoid everything so I went from P16 to ninth immediately so that was really good. I started from the softer tire which grained heavily so we wanted to change the tire immediately after. All the strategy worked really well and on the restart I gained another position and one stage I moved up to P3. It all looked really positive but at the end of the day the speed wasn’t there so I the cars coming from in front and behind got us. Eventually we had a lot of hard battles and in the end we damaged the car, got a puncture and had to come in and finished 13th. It’s a shame that we couldn’t have a strong finish again. The team learned a lot and overall his weekend we gapped a little closer to the point leader. Hopefully we have a strong weekend in Texas.”