LONG POND, PA – The day started off a little hairy for Graham Rahal and his Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing team. His teammate Takuma Sato was involved in that scary opening lap crash in Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 when he and Alexander Rossi made contact heading into the Tunnel Turn at the Pocono Raceway. Rahal, was literally running right behind them when the incident was sparked.
The Ohio native narrowly skated by which landed him with excellent track position as a result. Unfortunately for him, his No. 15 Honda just didn’t have enough speed to hang around the front runners in this weekend’s race as Rahal had to settle for a ninth place finish in the rain shortened event.
“We need a little more pace,” Rahal said. “We were a little slow on the straights for some reason, but we’ll keep digging into it. I had a bad restart (went from fifth to ninth), but it wasn’t that bad actually. I was pulling up on the guys in front of me, but I just got driven around and was in a position where I was a little bit of a sitting duck and lost a bunch of spots and that killed our race from then-on, frankly. We were scrambling just to get ourselves back in position. I had another good restart later and went from 13th to ninth and made some of those spots back up.”
It was Rahal’s second straight ninth place finish on the season and third in the last four races. The other finish in the last four?
Rahal, leaves Pocono and heads to the next race at Gateway with eight straight top 10 finishes on the season. The last time he wasn’t in the top 10 was in the May 26 Indianapolis 500 when he was invovled in a Lap 176 crash while battling for position inside of the top 10 with Sebastien Bourdais.
If you go back to Long Beach on April 14, Rahal has finished in the top 10 in every race with the exception of the Indy 500. He’s scored 11 top 10 finishes already this season and is one shy of equaling the mark that he had in both last year as well as 2017 too. Those are career highs for top 10’s in a single season for him.
If he can get a top 10 in two of the last three races this year, Rahal would set a personal record for top 10’s in a single season.