Graham Rahal, 2012 IICS Iowa Corn Indy 250 Pre-Race Notes & Quotes

[media-credit name=”iowacorn.org” align=”alignright” width=”168″][/media-credit]Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing Iowa Advance Notes

Race: Iowa Corn Indy 250 (Saturday June 23 at 10:00 PM ET, NBC Sports Network)
Track: Iowa Speedway (0.875-mile oval)
Location: Newton, IA

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 Iowa: “I love the fans in Iowa. The heat races will put a different twist on Friday and that should be a lot of fun for the Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing team. It really can’t get much better than Saturday night racing in Iowa and we’re all looking forward the weekend ahead.”

The Heat is On: In a departure from single-car qualifications, three heat races will be held June 22 to set the starting grid for the 250-lap race. Qualification groups will be determined by lap times recorded by entries in the second (45-minute) practice session earlier in the day (3:30 p.m. ET). Qualifications are scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET. Race one, will consist of the even-numbered positions, starting with the 10th-quickest practice time, and determine the even-numbered positions in the starting field from 10th down. Race two, will consist of the odd-numbered positions, starting with the ninth-quickest practice time, and determine the odd-numbered positions in the starting field from ninth down. Race three, will consist of drivers ranked one through eight from the practice. Results of race three will determine the first four rows, with the winner taking the pole position.

Break it Down: Pursuant to input from IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and team engineers, INDYCAR has directed a maximum rear flap angle of 37 degrees with no wicker allowed for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway. The rule will reduce downforce available by about eight-to-nine percent.

Honda Power: Honda remains second in the manufacturer point standings with 63 points, closing in on Chevrolet with 69. Lotus remains third with 32 points.

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 application conveys 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 Car Series. 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 CentralHonda completes his second season with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

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.

Milwaukee Recap: Rahal finished ninth in the Milwaukee IndyFest at The Milwaukee Mile, in West Allis, Wisconsin. The result marked Rahal’s 40th top-10 finish in his IZOD IndyCar Series career and the third top-10 of his 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season (Alabama, Texas). Rahal started the 225-lap race 11th and battled heavy traffic on the one-mile oval, driving the No. 38 Service Central Honda to the top-10 by lap 63. The Service Central team would fight handling problems early on, but would make adjustments to the car to gradually improve position throughout the second half of the race. Rahal would make the most of double-file restarts through a total of five cautions to nab a spot inside the top-10 with 23 laps to go. He ran in the top-10 for a total of 48 laps. Rahal’s previous top-10 results for the season included a fourth at Barber Motorsports Park in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and a second at Texas Motor Speedway in the Firestone 550. On one-to-two mile ovals, Rahal has scored an average start of 7.0 and an average finish of 5.5 this season.

In the Points: Following Milwaukee, Rahal holds 11th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 171 markers, -103 points behind points leader Will Power.

Iowa Rewind: The No. 38 Service Central car lined-up 20th on the 0.875-mile oval for the 250-lap race under the lights. Rahal would charge to the top-15 and secure 12th-place by lap 45. On lap 90, the Service Central driver continued to dig through the field and nabbed a spot in the top-10 while fighting an edgy car. The Service Central team made their final scheduled pit stop of the night on lap 182 under green and were ill-fated when the yellow flag waved less than five laps later– allowing the leaders to pit under the caution and causing Rahal to lose a lap. The No. 38 continued to battle for track position and would ultimately finish 15th.

 

Career at Iowa: Rahal has made four starts at Iowa Speedway in his IZOD IndyCar career, earning two top-10s, four top-15s and leading 11 laps. He has zero DNFs (did not finish) and has completed 993 of the 1,000 laps run at Iowa Speedway since 2008. He has an average start of 15.5 and an average finish of 11.2 at the track.

Oval Office: The driver of the No. 38 Service Central Honda has made 35 starts on oval tracks in his IZOD IndyCar career. He has earned one pole, five podiums, nine top-fives, 15 top-10 finishes and led 55 laps. He has an average start of 11.9 and an average finish of 13.9.

Rahal on Iowa: “Iowa will be a tough race for all of us. We are going to be doing a lot of learning with the new aero configuration, but I think this all leans into our favor. I am looking forward to going there and really having to muscle the cars around. It’s a great little track, physically very demanding, but this will be a lot of fun for thedrivers, teams, and fans!”

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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