Chevrolet powered cars led 150 out of the 200 laps in the Indianapolis 500 last month. They also had a 1-2 finish and put nine cars in the top 11 of the starting lineup. Meanwhile, the Honda’s obviously struggled. Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing was the most affected. But, on race day, they rose to the challenge and saw Graham Rahal charge up to a top 10 finish. Now, with cooler temperatures at night this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway, can Honda and Rahal capitalize?
Since 2012, not many drivers have been better at Texas than Rahal. He finished second in that 2012 race, the one where he scrapped the wall while leading at the end. In 2016, he won. Last year, he brought his No. 15 Honda home fourth.
As you can see, three of the last six years he’s been in the hunt. Can he do so again in Saturday night’s DXC Technology 600 (8 p.m. ET/NBCSN/INDYCAR Radio Network)?
“It has been a love/hate relationship for me at Texas Motor Speedway my whole career,” said Rahal. “I have had some really good moments and some moments that weren’t so good. In recent years it has certainly been more on the love side since we have had some great results. I think it’s a great place for us to go to right after this past weekend. I think it’s a place we can go to and have a good result, so I’m definitely excited to get out there and get running in the Fleet Cost & Care Honda. I think the new aero kit is going to behave quite differently than it did at Indy, but I also think that when we show up it’s going to be a real work in progress. I’m sure that from an aerodynamic perspective, INDYCAR is going to have to keep doing some work to get it right. If you look at the way the aero package is set up currently, I think that it’s going to be very difficult to run together but I did not test there so I’m not a great judge of that because I haven’t had any laps there yet. But I definitely think it’s going to be a work in progress and the folks at INDYCAR are ready, willing and able to adjust if we need to, to make the show great. We’ve had a great season so far minus my error in Detroit. I definitely think that we’re in a pretty good spot. We’ve just got to keep it going. A good, solid weekend will help a ton, points-wise. It would get us right up there in the hunt.”
Starting position has proven to not matter lately at Texas anyways. So, if Rahal doesn’t start towards the front, he will be okay. Four of the last six Texas winners have come from Row 4 on back. In fact, none of the last six winners have started inside the top two rows. This is a race where Rahal can get back into the Verizon IndyCar Series championship conversation.