Mar 28, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Graham Rahal’s first trip back to Texas Motor Speedway since his near-miss in June of last year featured several new elements, but still good pace.
The Columbus native, now driving for father Bobby’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, ran 94 laps on Wednesday with a best lap of 214.058mph on the 1.5-mile high banked oval.
“We worked through some items that we wanted to try on the Midas / Big O Tires car and it worked out to be pretty beneficial,” Rahal (right, with fellow Texas tester Ed Carpenter) said. “I think we found a good direction so hopefully when James (Jakes) comes back here after Long Beach we will have a good place to start with him and then move on to the race. We tried several things for Honda and some things for ourselves that Gerry and Eddie had planned, some of which were based on Eddie’s previous experience with other teams. There were some questions that we had and I think we found some good answers. We are pretty optimistic about coming back here for the race weekend.”
Race engineer Gerry Hughes noted the cooler, windy conditions at hand were unlikely going to be consistent with the temperatures for the IndyCar race there in June. As a result, Rahal’s teammate James Jakes, who was also on hand, didn’t test and has been rescheduled to after Long Beach in April.
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