Graham Rahal, 2012 IICS Firestone 550k Pre-Race Notes & Quotes

[media-credit name=”texasmotorspeedway.com” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing Texas Advance Notes

Race: Firestone 550, Saturday June 9 (8:00 PM ET, NBC Sports Network)
Track: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5 mile oval)
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

NOTES/NEWS

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Follow CGR on Twitter: Follow @CGRTeams for official updates from Chip Ganassi Racing’s IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball.

Team Manager John Cummiskey on Texas: “The Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing team is looking forward to being back in Texas. We’ve had a really goodrace car these past couple races but just haven’t been able to show that in the results. At some point we’re going to break through that, so we’re looking to go there and get some points. Texas Motor Speedway is a great track with a good crowd and great fans so it’s great to be back.”

Honda Power: Honda remains second in the manufacturer point standings with 42, closing in on Chevrolet with 48. Lotus remains third with 24 points. Honda-powered drivers have led 330 laps this season, while Chevrolet drivers have led a total of 126 laps. Race lap leaders for Honda include Scott Dixon (196), Takuma Sato (58), Dario Franchitti (29), Simon Pagenaud (26), Justin Wilson (15), Charlie Kimball (3), Alex Tagliani (2) and Graham Rahal (1).

Don’t Mess With Texas: Honda has won eight times in 12 IZOD IndyCar Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, both as the single engine supplier to the series and against other engine manufacturers.

There’s an App for that: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM recently re-launched an updated mobile application, which is one of the first for the high-velocity world of racing. The application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of CGRT. The unique mobile applicationconveys the high-octane rush of the racing experience for a team that competes at the highest levels in three series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports CarSeries. Click here to visit the iTunes Application store and download the CGRT mobile app.

GRAHAM RAHAL AND THE NO. 38 SERVICE CENTRAL TEAM

Follow Graham on Twitter:Follow @grahamrahal for updates as the driver of the No. 38 Service Central Honda completes his second season with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

 

Strictly Bus’iness: Rahal is offering race fans two exclusive tour bus packages from Indianapolis to the Milwaukee IndyFest, June 15 and 16 at the Milwaukee Mile, in conjunction with Andretti Sports Marketing, promoter of the IZOD IndyCar Series race at the track. Each package includes transportation from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the Milwaukee IndyFest, a reserved seat for Saturday’s 225-lap IndyCar race, a paddock pass to access the garage area and more. The packages can be purchased from the Milwaukee IndyFest website at www.MilwaukeeIndyFest.com

Helmet of Hope: The Graham Rahal Foundation was selected as one of the 12 charities that will be featured on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Champion Jimmie Johnson’s helmet, through the Helmet of Hope program. Johnson will wear the helmet in the NSCS race at Infineon Raceway on June 24 in Sonoma, California. In addition to being featured on Johnson’s helmet, the Graham Rahal Foundation will receive a $10,000 grant as well as a Blue Bunny ice cream party. The program, which is part of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, allows fans and media members across the country to nominate their favorite charities, which are then selected at random.

Belle Isle Recap: Rahal finished 19th at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in his 83rd IZOD IndyCar Series career start. The first time he competed on the course was the series’ last trip to Detroit in 2008, where he started sixth and finished 13th. Going into Sunday’s race, Rahal posted the quickest time in the final warm-up session on the 2.07-mile street circuit. He started the race from the 17th position, ran as high as sixth within the first 28 laps and spent 12 laps running in the top-10 for the initial stages. Due to deteriorating track conditions, the race was red flagged 45 laps into the 90-lap event for track repair. After a two-hour delay, the race was resumed for 15-laps, taking the race to a final 60-lap distance. Coming out of the delay, the No.38 Service Central car suffered a mechanical issue, causing the team to lose two laps and ultimately finish 19th.

In the Points: Following Belle Isle, Rahal is now 15th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 109 markers, -123 points out of the top spot.

Texas History: Last season, Rahal completed his first doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway finishing ninth and 30th in the two races. He started 20th in the first of the 114-lap two-race event marking his third-start on the 1.5-mile oval. The No.38 Service Central Honda found a comfortable groove on the superspeedway and battled its way to the top-10 before the halfway point. Rahal crossed the finish line for the first duel in ninth-place. The Firestone Twin 275s halftime show highlighted a random draw to determine the starting grid for the second duel which put Rahal fourth in the line-up. He took the green flag for the final 114-lap sprint and would maintain a top-10 run for the first 100 laps. The No.38 car came in for its last pit stop of the night and encountered a fuel-related issue leaving the Service Central team unable to restart the engine and ended their run resulting in a 30th-place finish.

Career at Texas: The Firestone 550 will mark Rahal’s fifth start at Texas Motor Speedway. His best finish at the track is ninth at the Firestone Twin 275 in 2011. Rahal has an average start of 13.5 and an average finish of 18.0 on the 1.5-mile oval.

 

Rahal on Texas: “I’m really looking forward to getting back on the track this weekend. Our team has workedvery hard this year and has little to show for it, so the hope is that we can break through in Texas this weekend. We raced well there last year and think we can build on our recent performances going into the race.”

About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.

Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include four in the IZOD IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Overall his teams have 14 championships and 147 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and four Rolex 24 At Daytonas. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.

For more information log onto chipganassiracing.com

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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