Rahal Fastest In Practice

Ohio native Graham Rahal topped the time chart in the initial IZOD IndyCar Series practice session for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance.

The New Albany, Ohio native, competing in his second race of the season with Newman/Haas Racing, had a best lap of 1 minute, 8.3061 seconds on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit in the No. 02 National Tire & Battery entry.

The hour-long session also featured the top 22 cars separated by less than a second, J.R. Hildebrand, the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights champion who is making his IZOD IndyCar Series debut in the No. 24 RollCoater/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car, placed seventh (1:08.6340), and series championship points leader Will Power second (1:08.3301) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.

"The thing that is obvious to me is that it is really close and very competitive," said Rahal, who has recorded three top-10 finishes with three different teams in six races this season. "At one point, I was 10th, but only a tenth off. But I really wanted to be fastest on the first day at home. It feels good. I am a little bit surprised, especially where we came from. The good thing is the car is nowhere close for me. There's a lot we need to improve on. If we can be this competitive and have a lot to improve on is a good sign for me."

Another 60-minute session precedes the three rounds of qualifying Aug. 7.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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