Looking purely at the end results from the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Houston races of 11th and 16th for Graham Rahal, and a pair of failures to finish for Luca Filippi, it would be easy to say Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing struggled in the streets that surround NRG Park.
It really couldn’t be further from the truth.
Filippi starred in practice and qualifying, ultimately making his first Firestone Fast Six on Saturday morning. Meanwhile despite a stall in Race 1, Rahal drove back from 23rd to fourth in the mixed wet and drying conditions before his second-to-last lap contact with Tony Kanaan before Turn 10.
Sunday, too, Rahal seemed poised for a podium finish before ECU and gearbox issues struck him in the first 35 laps. He had easily his best starting position of the year after qualifying fourth.
Back to just the single No. 15 National Guard RLL Honda for Pocono this weekend, Rahal will run a camouflage National Guard livery. Perhaps it will be the good luck charm the team needs for an untroubled weekend filled with both a good qualifying and good race result.
“I love the current red, white and blue livery but it’s great to have a special one for the Fourth of July weekend,” Rahal said in a team release. “The camouflage is really a cool touch and I hope it connects with the men and women of the National Guard that we are honored to represent. As an American, racing on this particular weekend is very special and I think the car will look great on track!”
Rahal looks to improve upon his 16th place start and 18th place finish at Pocono last year.