Qualifying in 13thth position was not what Graham Rahal had intended. However, that was soon to be rectified. The Sonoma road course, with its 12-turns, is not where drivers go to practice passing. No, the name of the game at Infineon Raceway is strategy and patience.
When the green flag flew for his fourth career start at InfineonRaceway, Rahal immediately set his sights on the front of the field. Running in fuel conservation mode immediately; Rahal maintained a competitive pace. The No. 38 Service Central car was running smoothly and the team was certain that their two-stop strategy was going to advance them. That strategy would see Rahal turning some of the fastest laps in the field. By lap 50, Rahal had moved comfortably into 10thth. As the checkers brought the race to its close, the Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR) driver would place in eighth; giving them their fifth top-10 finish of the season.
When asked about the race for the SCCGR press release how he felt about the race, Rahal exuberantly responded with, “Today was a good run for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing. After the weekend we've had, pulling off a top-10 feels pretty amazing. I think the No. 38 Service Central car was definitely one of the quickest cars today.”
Rahal continued, “If the caution did come out at the end, I think we would've had a great chance to catch (Sebastian) Bourdais and (James) Hinchcliffe. Overall, it was a really good day and I'm proud of the Service Central team. It feels good to get a top-10 and gain some points.”
The points that Rahal gained put him in 10thth place in the IZOD Indycar Series and 211 points behind series leader, Dario Franchitti.