An under-the-weather Graham Rahal revealed his delight at being the best Honda-powered qualifier for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indy on Friday, with the young American securing third place on the grid.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver praised the work Honda have put in to bring themselves back in contention with those running with Chevrolet power and aero kits.
Rahal feels he has a good chance of taking victory in what he says is his best qualifying result ‘in a long time’, and is eager to avoid any problems at the start, especially heading into turn one that has in the past caused drama for drivers.
“This cold has definitely taken a lot out of me the last couple of days,” revealed Rahal. “We gave it all she had (in qualifying). It feels good to start third.
“Everyone at Honda has done a great job. You can see all the hard work they have put in with three Honda’s in the Firestone Fast Six. I’m really proud of them and proud of this Steak ‘n Shake team because they just keep their heads down and keep working hard.
“This is our best start in a long time. Tomorrow will be a big day for us just to gain points. [Simon] Pagenaud qualified on pole but hopefully we can out smart him tomorrow. Our guys have done an excellent job with pit stops and they keep fighting.
“Penske is kind of the standard when it comes to pit stops but I think we can get them. I think our team has been a shining light for Honda and we continue to work very hard at that.
“We can win from this starting position. We need to stay out of trouble. We all know about Turn 1 in this race. We’ve got momentum on our side and have a good run going here. I hope we can continue it in the race.”