Q: Did the Ganassi cars all have similar strategy? If not, were you just really surprised that you beat guys that have won multiple Indy 500s?
RAHAL: I don't know what their strategy was. Obviously, I saw Dario come in on that last yellow. But am I surprised? Not really, because I could have told you last week I thought we probably had the best race car of any of our teammates.
We don't debrief together. But when you hear the mumblings from the other trailer, as far as what they're thinking or how they're feeling, I don't think anybody felt as confident in their race car as I did. So I'm not surprised.
They were obviously faster than us I think today in outright pace. But our strategy was pretty simple. What I'm most impressed about is we never did anything off strategy. I thought to get to the front we were definitely going to have to do that. But we didn't.
Like I said, my Service Central guys just did a fantastic job all day. I don't think we lost a spot in the pits all day. I don't think we hurt ourselves at all on or off the track. I don't think I made any mistakes. Overall it's just a good day.
Q: Graham,people looking at this might consider what Dan was able to do with his first start with this team a surprise. Can you explain why it is or is not necessarily a surprise for the way that turned out and also if you've had a chance to talk to your dad?
RAHAL: I don't see what Dan's done as a surprise at all. Dan is a fantastic driver. He's always proven it, particularly here. He's won here before. That team, from what I see, that was a three-car team this month. Tagliani, Wheldon and Bell. I'm not surprised. My hat goes off to Dan. He's a great guy. Did a fantastic job today. Did exactly what he needed to do.
As far as talking to dad, I saw him briefly, said a couple of words, then kind of just came over here. I'm sure I'll see him more this afternoon.
Q: You've been coming here a lot of years. You've observed it as a son, as well. Do you have any opinion why the results, let's say Las Vegas favorites, did not perform and the unexpected teams did so well?
RAHAL: 'Cause it's Indy, flat-out. I mean, that's what I put it off to. This place, when you think you got it figured out, it bites you. I mean, it's Indy. It's so tough.
But I thought today was so special, the whole thing. The atmosphere was fantastic. The crowd looked great. The whole buildup to it was incredible. It was a very special day, so...
But as far as those guys that you thought were going to dominate and didn't, it's this place.
Q: Were you surprised how poorly the Penske cars ran?
RAHAL: I was surprised about that, actually. I'm not going to lie to you there. I raced with [Bryan] Briscoe a couple times, passed Helio [Castroneves] a couple times, passed Will [Power]. They didn't have it. You could see Briscoe just did not feel comfortable all day. Yeah, I'm pretty surprised that they weren't faster.
Q: There was a lot of talk with the weeks leading up to the race about the double-file restarts. How did it feel out there?
RAHAL: It felt good. Honestly, the changes they made, letting us just race, I thought the restarts were great. There was a lot of passing opportunities, plenty of excitement. I haven't watched a race tape, but I thought that the excitement was incredible inside of the car.
The last restart, I passed seven positions, and there were three lapped cars in there, so 10 cars in one corner. Really, I think that it gave you the opportunity to do that. People get bogged down; it moved the cars around just enough you had to be almost on the grass on (Turn) 4 to make it work. It was good fun.
I'm not sure that's going to work on the road courses, but I think on all the other ovals from here on out, that's the way it should be. Let us go racing. Put it in our hands. Don't give us 20 rules to work by. That's just going to make it harder and more confusing.
Q: What was it like to lead briefly the Indy 500?
RAHAL: It felt good. But obviously my focus was go as fast as I possibly can. I had [Scott] Dixon breathing down my neck. I could see that. It felt nice. But I hope that's not the last laps I lead here.
Q: In recent years one of the complaints has been not enough American drivers. Now we have two that finished two and three, almost one and three. Do you think this is going to attract more Americans?
RAHAL: I don't think that the results attract more Americans. I think what it comes down to is IndyCar racing, I think it's on the rise. We saw it today. Ticket sales were up huge. You could visibly see the difference from this year to last year in the crowd size.
I think that's what attracts people, because that's what attracts sponsors. That's what will attract drivers, is the opportunities that the sponsors present them. Clearly in my case of Service Central, I'm here because of them. JR is at Panther because of National Guard. That's what is going to attract people, is the opportunities they see.
I think as far as a show, today was far more passing than I thought would ever be possible around here. I thought it was a helluva lot of fun, that's for sure.
Q: You mentioned earlier you don't have the adjustable front wings. Is that by choice?
RAHAL: No, rear wing pillars. That's not necessarily by choice. There's two ways to look at it. It's an advantage. At the end there under yellow, you could crank a little wing out of it, you're going to go faster. At the same time, there's a story about the Ganassi boys a long time ago. They were telling me they took out rear wing accidentally and added front wing on Jimmy Vasser, which is obviously going to turn the thing like a top. You can shoot yourself in the foot with it, too.
Really, it just came down to we're a new team as of five months ago. We haven't gotten around to that. There's a lot of other things we need to do before making an adjustable rear wing.
We're riding high, second and third. Feels fantastic. To be the highest-finishing Ganassi car, I'm not disappointed with either.