Rahal looking to build on tenth place qualifying efforts

Graham Rahal - Credit: James Boone
Graham Rahal - Credit: James Boone

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Graham Rahal will start the 2017 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg from tenth place after a challenging qualifying session.

The 2009 pole-sitter was disappointed with the result of the session and will be hoping to make up for the bad start in the race tomorrow, having tasted victory in St. Petersburg in 2007.

“Starting tenth is obviously not where we want to be but all things considered, and where we’ve been this weekend, we knew it was going to take everything we had to advance out of the first group this weekend.” said Rahal.

“When you have guys like Helio (Castroneves) and Simon (Pagenaud) and all these boys in there, you know you have to be at your absolute best to advance.  We made it through, but that Top-12 was going to be tough for us to advance out of.  I felt like I got all of it out of the car honestly.“ 

Despite feeling there was little else he could have done, he did reveal he knew where he was losing time as he looked ahead to the race.

“We just need to find some consistency and find some grip.  I’ve seen the sector times and I know where we’re losing it compared to everyone else but I don’t see how, within myself, we’re just going to find a magical three-tenths (of a second). 

“We’ve got to get to work. Tomorrow is a whole new day and we seem to excel as a team on race day.  Who knows what can happen but we’ll try to get this Steak ‘n Shake car in Victory Lane.”