Rahal wants “man-to-man talk” with Harvey over defensive move

Graham Rahal was left elated with a charging drive to fifth at Texas Race 1, but also aggravated by Jack Harvey’s defending as he passed him following a restart.

Rahal wants “man-to-man talk” with Harvey over defensive move

Both Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Josef Newgarden and Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda) were tracking Harvey’s Meyer Shank Racing-Honda closely on the Lap 174 restart and two laps later on the back straight.

While Newgarden passed the MSR car without issue, Harvey swung very low on the back straight to defend what was then seventh place. Rahal dramatically elected to go lower still and completed the pass, but after the race was clearly annoyed by his rival’s tactics.

“I have a lot of respect for Jack,” said Rahal, the 2016 Texas Motor Speedway winner, “but we need to have a man-to-man talk about that. He could see the run I had on him was tremendous and we were going to go by.

“You just don’t even risk anybody like that – and also it hurt him more. It kills your momentum. The best thing to do is to lift a little bit and fall in line.

“But I understand he did the same thing to Alex [Rossi] or someone on the front straight.

“So we need to have a discussion about it. I respect him a lot but we need to have a talk about it… We need to have a talk about it over the next 12 hours, and I think Race Control needs to, too, because how is that not penalized? Let’s face it, that’s what they teach us – you can’t move in reaction, and particularly at 225mph.”

Rahal described his own climb from 13th to fifth, which included passing Newgarden on Lap 180, as “a great run”.

He continued: “I was trying to put on a good show for everybody, we passed a lot of guys at the last restart, but I used the tire up a little bit too much to try and get Palou at the end. Tomorrow, we’ll have an even better shot.”

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