Rahal produces superb drive through the field for second podium of season

Graham Rahal produced a superb drive through the field to notch his second podium of the IndyCar season, the American finishing third in Race 2 of the Iowa INDYCAR 250s for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Rahal, who was cruelly denied victory late on at the IndyGP after a late yellow flag played into Scott Dixon’s hands, this time had to execute a very different strategy from the back of the field after he started 19th.

Running longer than anyone else, Rahal pitted from the lead on Lap 63 and found himself out of position and a lap down before he stopped again from the lead on lap 119. This time, however, yellow flags played to his advantage and he was able to pit under caution when the pits opened.

It allowed the No. 15 Hy-Vee Dallara Honda to return to the circuit in fourth and apply pressure to Will Power before passing him on Lap 129 for third. Rahal again led the race before his third stop and after yet another caution of a hectic race, he took third when Conor Daly made his stop and held it until the chequered flag.

“The Hy-Vee car came in third and I think we actually had the best car on track tonight,” said Rahal in his team’s post-race press release. “We passed a ton of cars. It was just hard at the end when Will was driving on the same line as me. It was difficult up high to get the grip to go by. Thanks to Hy-Vee for coming on board this weekend and thanks to Honda; the motor was a rocket. We’re proud to be powered by Honda.

“It was a great run right there and just a good rebound for our team after starting in the back. I’m super excited with P3 and we’re moving up in the championship. The entire team worked awfully hard. It was a great showing for Hy-Vee, thanks for coming onboard.  And even better, we raised $24,900 for Turns for Troops with United Rentals this weekend which is awesome.”

Rahal’s latest podium means he moves into a tie for fifth place in the championship standings with 142 points, level on points with second-placed finisher Will Power.

Motorsport Technology