By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
SPEEDWAY, Indiana- Much like last year, Graham Rahal had to charge through the field to get a good result at the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Starting 20th but with a car that was fourth fastest in the final warmup, Rahal moved his No. 15 SoldierStrong/TurnsForTroops.com Honda to 16th before the first round of pitstops started and ended up 15th thanks to running three incredible laps in a row before his stop on Lap 22, leapfrogging Carlos Munoz.
Starting his second stint in 15th, Rahal moved to 13th in six laps and was ninth after his second pitstop on Lap 45 and moved to eighth around Alexander Rossi on Lap 51.
The Ohio native moved to sixth after the third round of stops and remained there until the end of the race.
“It was a good run, just a good smooth day,” Rahal said. “Staying out of trouble, [I was] able to pass a lot of guys and the guys did a great job in the pits and we just worked away and thumped this one down and [I’m] definitely pretty proud of that and just a good smooth day and a good way to go into the rest of this month,” Rahal added.
This race had many similarities to last year’s running as well. Rahal started 24th last year and finished fourth so there was a lot of work to be done on both days, but how did the Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan racer feel about comparing the two?
“I had to work harder for this one for sure, both are equally rewarding but I definitely had to work harder for this one.”
As for momentum for the rest of May?
“I feel good about where we’re at, I really do. I think we’ll be pretty strong.”