Podium Finish for Hometown Hero Rahal at Mid-Ohio

7/30/2017

Podium Finish for Hometown Hero Rahal at Mid-Ohio

·       Graham Rahal runs third at Honda Indy 200

·       Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato finishes fifth

·       Alexander Rossi rounds out top six finishers

 

LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 30, 2017) – Ohio native son Graham Rahal led the Honda attack Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, finishing third at the Honda Indy 200 to continue an impressive streak of results in the second half of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. 

 

A large crowd, including nearly 10,000 Honda associates from multiple central Ohio Honda facilities, filled the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio road circuit on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  Starting fourth, Rahal battled fellow Honda driver and Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato in the early part of the 90-lap contest.  Moving ahead of Sato after the first round of scheduled pit stops, Rahal then spent the remainder of the day fighting with Will Power for second, as eventual race winner Josef Newgarden pulled out a comfortable lead at the front of the field.

 

After a late-race caution flag, Rahal continued to hound Power during the final 20 laps, but was unable to find a way past, finishing third.  For Rahal, it was his fourth consecutive top-five at Mid-Ohio and his second podium finish in the last three years, including his victory here in 2015.  It also extends Rahal’s run of impressive runs in the second half of 2017, including five top-five finishes in the last seven races.

 

For his part, Sato had his best result since finishing fourth in the second Detroit race, despite falling to seventh at mid-race.  A strong closing stint saw Sato get around both Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi to take fifth at the checkers.  Rossi also moved ahead of Castroneves in the final 20 laps for a sixth-place finish.

 

Coming into Mid-Ohio with a narrow, three-point lead in the championship, Scott Dixon endured a tough afternoon.  A suspected rear suspension issue resulted in a poor handling Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, and Dixon was forced to hold on for a ninth-place finish at a track where he has won five times in 11 previous races.  As a result, Dixon falls to third in the title battle, but only eight points behind new leader Newgarden with four races remaining.

 

Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series and Acura Motorsports Pirelli World Challenge racing activities at Mid-Ohio are available on the "Honda Racing/HPD" YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV. 

 

The Verizon IndyCar Series now takes two weeks off before the final super-speedway race of the 2017 season, the August 20 ABC Supply Co., Inc. Pocono 500, at the unique, 2.5-mile tri-oval Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA.

 

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) started 4th, finished 3rd“Yeah, it was a good run.  Our Steak ‘n Shake car had great pace today, and the guys in the pits did another great job all day long.  Overall, there was a lot of hard racing out on track today.  But our guys are working very hard, too, and we’ll just have to continue to out-drive and out-work them as best we can.  We’ll keep our heads down and keep working hard.  We’ll be back strong at Pocono in a couple of weeks.”

 

Takuma Sato (Andretti Autosport Honda) started 3rd, finished 5th“I think starting third and finishing fifth isn’t the perfect scenario, but we had an issue in the pits [with a lost wheel nut], and we lost a couple of positions when we went back out on track. At the least, [fighting back] was actually fun. We overtook a couple cars and regained and recovered the position. I think the four Andretti Autosport cars had a solid day under difficult circumstances, and I think that we performed really well. Let’s just say, the rest of the season we just need to have a solid performance to bring back the championship points.”

 

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: “It’s a shame we were not able to deliver a Honda victory today in front of this huge crowd, and all the Honda associates who came out to support us.  But once again, Graham [Rahal] and the entire Rahal Letterman Lanigan team produced another excellent run.  Special kudos to Ryan [Hunter-Reay] for a truly impressive drive, recovering from that early spin to finish eighth on pace alone, with no help from yellows.  I’m not certain what the issue was with Scott [Dixon’s] car, but you could see he was fighting oversteer all day long.  Scott is still in the thick of the drivers’ title fight and Honda is also right in the middle of the Manufacturers’ Championship.  Everyone will continue to work hard, and we’re looking forward to the next round at Pocono in just a few weeks.”

 

 

Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200

Circuit:              Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2.258-mile road course), Lexington, Ohio

2016 Winner:     Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) 110.853 mph average

Weather:           Mostly sunny, warm, 81 degrees F

 

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver      

Team

Manufacturer

Laps

Notes

  1.

  2.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

90

114.677mph average speed

  2.

  1.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

90

+5.1556 seconds

  3.

  4.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

90

 

  4.

  7.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

90

 

  5.

  3.

Takuma Sato

Andretti Autosport

Honda  

90

 

  6.

  9.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda  

90

 

  7.

  5.

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske

Chevrolet

90

 

  8.

10.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda  

90

 

  9.

  6.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

90

 

10.

11.

Conor Daly

A.J. Foyt Racing

Chevrolet

90

 

Other Honda Results

 

11.

  8.

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Mtspts

Honda

90

Running

12.

14.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda  

90

Running

13.

13.

Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

90

Running

 

14.

21.

Mikhail Aleshin

Schmidt Peterson Mtspts

Honda

90

Running

15.

18.

Max Chilton

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

90

Running

16.

17.

Tony Kanaan

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

90

Running

18.

12.

Esteban Gutierrez-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda  

89

Running

 

21.

15.

Ed Jones-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

88

Running 

               

 

HPD

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