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September 17, 2018

A Battery Issue Limited Rahal's Finish to 23rd After Running as High as Fifth in Sonoma

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Total Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “What happened in the race was our year in a nutshell. It was obviously disappointing to have the race end how it did. The guys did a great job and the Total car was pretty good in the race. We lost power. We had a battery that exploded unfortunately and that cost us everything. It was a very disappointing and frustrating day. I will say this though, we have had a hard year but I don’t think I have ever been as proud to work with a group of guys as I am this year. These guys never quit. They focused on doing the best they could at all times and busted their butts.  I know this is a great sign of things to come.”

·             FAST FACTS: Started ninth and passed Power and Pagenaud on the start as well as championship contender Rossi, who made contact with his teammate Andretti, to take over sixth place.  He made his first stop on Lap 14 and came out of the pits alongside teammate Sato.  As others made their stops, he cycled up to fifth place, which he held for eight laps before his red alternate tires began to lose their performance.  He was passed on Lap 26 by Power, Lap 32 by Bourdais and Lap 35 by Jones before he pit for the more durable primary tires. He returned to the track in eighth place and held the position until he reported that the car shut off on Lap 43/85. His car was towed to the garage and in an effort to salvage as many points as possible in a double-points race, the team replaced the battery that had exploded and he rejoined the race while the leaders were on Lap 57.  He ultimately completed a total of 66 laps by the time he retired in 23rd position near the end of the race… Was his 11th Indy car race here. His best start is fifth place and best finish is second – both in 2016 with RLL.  He has earned two top-five finishes and six top-10’s in 11 races. In 2017, he entered the Sonoma race seventh in points and moved to sixth in season-ending standings after finishing sixth.  Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas oval; 2017 – Race 1 & 2 Detroit streets) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street).  His highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… He ended the season ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 392. 

 

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