IndyCar - Solid Run Falls Short, Rahal Finishes 13th
TORONTO, July 11, 2011: Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR) driver Graham Rahal finished 13th in his fourth start on the streets of Toronto for Sunday’s action-packed Honda Indy Toronto.
Rahal matched his season-best qualifying effort with a fifth-place starting position for the 85-lap race. The No. 38 Service Central car would maintain a solid run in the top-10 until a flat right rear tire caused Rahal to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap 41 dropping him to 18th.
An incident on lap 49 brought out a full course caution allowing the majority of cars to cycle through their second round of pit stops, but the Service Central team opted to stay out after a quick fuel mileage calculation, taking a gamble on making it to the checkered without another stop. Rahal took over the lead on lap 49 and preserved the position for 23 laps while focusing on fuel conservation. With less than 10 laps to go, Rahal was battling for third-place when another car made contact with him causing the No. 38 Service Central car to make a clean spin, but fall to the back of the field and ultimately cross the finish line in 13th.
With the finish, Rahal moves from seventh to eighth in the IZOD IndyCar Series points standings, 185 markers behind leader Dario Franchitti.
Up next for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing is the Honda Indy Edmonton at the Edmonton City Centre Airport on Sunday, July 24, 2011 (2:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS).
Graham Rahal: “Overall, I'm very happy with the Service Central boys. We were running a great race. We just flat got taken out and it's a shame that it happened. There were a lot of wrecks in the race, but we were looking pretty good. I tried to race Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon clean but hard there at the end and I think I did that. I gave them both opportunities to get by me and they did, unfortunately. We were running with low fuel and old tires trying to hang on. It was really frustrating to get hit there at the end, I really thought we were going to have a good finish for the Service Central team.”