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IZOD IndyCar Series: Kentucky Indy 300

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Kentucky Indy 300

IZOD IndyCar Series: Kentucky Indy 300

Graham Rahal
October 1, 2011


THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by Graham Rahal. This is Graham's second front row start of the season. He also started from the second position in Baltimore just a few weeks ago. Graham's best start at Kentucky was in 2009 where he started fifth, that was also his best finish of fifth as well.
Graham, talk about this great qualifying run today.
GRAHAM RAHAL: Well, I mean, it was really good. The Service Central guys did a great job. We had a fast car all day, but they actually didn't even tell me this before we ran, but we found out they looked over the setup sheet and one of the tows was wrong for the whole day. We made that change and it was like the car just came to life. It's been really good and it's been fast all day, but the car in qualifying felt almost perfect.
I thought Will was going to be tough to beat but I didn't see that kind of speed coming. But it feels good to start on the front row. For us we've been knocking on the door particularly the last few races. We've been there, we've been qualifying right up front. Hopefully tomorrow we can break through and finish up front.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Graham.

Q. (Question regarding the cold weather.)
GRAHAM RAHAL: It's just tough. The reason they went green the third time by is it's tough to get heat in the tires. It's extremely slick. Literally you touch the tire when you leave and it's like there's no grip at all. I think the tires are harder than in years past, too, so that makes it tough. When you combine those things, it becomes extremely slippery.
Really we needed that extra lap. Although in saying that, when we went out there, after I saw Scott and Dario's run, we thought instead of going for it on the first lap, we'll kind of cruise around on the warmup and it seemed to work because on the fourth and fifth laps, the good laps, it was planted on the bottom without a problem.
Certainly, like I said, the guys did a good job. The temperatures, it's cold, it's really cold.

Q. (Question regarding rivalry.)
GRAHAM RAHAL: I think that the teamwork of us all has gotten stronger as the year has gone on, quite frankly particularly here. When we showed up for the test, I don't think any of us were happy at all with the cars. We made the cars a lot better. Most of us run a very similar setup.
I think all four of us in the race, our cars are extremely good. You'll be able to pass here. We saw in practice today. A lot of people asked me if we'll be single file. Guys in practice were everywhere today.
As far as any rivalry, truthfully right now the goal right now is to help these guys win a championship. We're not in the hunt. Certainly for us we can either finish sixth in the championship or 14th, obviously we'd like to be sixth, but certainly to help the team win a championship...

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