103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – May 26, 2019
SATO FINISHED THIRD IN THE INDY 500: RAHAL AND KING ENCOUNTERED DIFFERENT PROBLEMS
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I just got a killer run, and I was lifting to just manage my gap. You pull out, and you get to this point, and you can see him squeezing me inside, turns into me, and there is nothing you can do. As all of us know, with 20 to go, 22 to go, it’s the time. You have to give every opportunity to go for it. I think Sebastien (Bourdais) knows that, which is probably why he hasn’t said much to me. But, yeah, it was disappointing. The United Rentals car was just heating up. It seemed like Alex (Rossi) and I were the only two who were really able to pass there at the end. I was feeling good about things. Hadn’t changed much, just trying to march to the front. I’m just very disappointed. It’s another year you get to sit and think about this. I respect Sebastien a lot. I don’t respect that move. I do respect him as a driver tremendously, and I’m sure he feels the same right now. At those speeds, that’s how you kill somebody. And I’m just not a fan of squeezing people and putting people in those positions. It’s not necessary.”
- FAST FACTS: After starting 17th and steadily moving to the front, Rahal had been biding his time until the final 50 laps to turn the heat up. He was passing Bourdais for fifth on Lap 178 when Bourdais squeezed him down on the track and the two made contact which set off a multi-car crash that collected a total of five cars. He started 17th for his 12th Indy 500 and retired in 27th place. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in seven of his 10 previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request.
- Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… He dropped from seventh in series standings to 12th with 123 points.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was an amazing job from the team really, once we went laps down, I know the Indy 500 can be a miracle, but after that there was a long period of no yellows. I think we spent more than 100 laps to get back on the lead lap, but you know we just put our head down and did the job. Just brilliant strategy, I feel, and we got back to the lead lap. But before that, huge congratulations to Simon. What a big win as an outstanding performance winning the GP and everything. Alex and I tried everything we’ve got. If you have the last seven laps, we were just all over the place. Power sliding, we were just, I don’t know, we had a lot of understeer. It was a great battle but just a shame we were not quite there yet. Huge credit to the team. What a comeback after being a lap down.”
- FAST FACTS: Sato was in 11th place when the pit cycle began and he moved up to lead Lap 36 before he mafde his first stop on Lap 37. The right rear tire changer had trouble putting the tire on and, after a delay, Sato returned to the track but came back to the pits on Lap 40 to check for a possible loose wheel. He dropped to 31st place and lost a lap to the leaders. He got back on the lead lap on Lap 141 during a caution and cycled back into the lead on Lap 176 of 200. On Lap 170 he had moved to fifth place. After the final restart, Sato passed both Josef Newgarden and Ed Carpenter in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in third after starting 14th for his 10th Indy 500 in 2019 and third with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. Prior to his 2017 win with Andretti from his best start of fourth place, his highest finish was 13th in 2013 and 2015 – both with A.J. Foyt Racing.
- Has FOUR IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road ) and EIGHT poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road). He remained fifth in series standings with 203 points. Leader Pagenaud has 250.
JORDAN KING, No. 42 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m thinking about Chachi (Chris Minot) obviously. I’m really disappointed in myself for the team, really for everybody. I think we had a pretty strong car. We were looking quite strong and making progress and looking at how the race finished, I think we could’ve been in the top 10, so that’s quite hard to swallow. First bit of call is to check that everything’s okay at the hospital. It’s not good, it’s not what you want to do (injure a crewman). It’s not. I don’t even know what to say. I’m really disappointed in myself and for everyone involved. We could have had a good race but didn’t, so that’s that.”
- FAST FACTS: King started 26th and had been running 21st before his second pit stop on Lap 69. King lost control of the car and slid into the rear tire was set out to be put on and into the path of Chris Minot, chief mechanic for the entry and outside front tire changer. Minot was attended to in the infield care center before being transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital. King later served a drive through penalty on Lap 80 while running in 20th place, two laps down. He went on to finish 24th. It was his first oval race and first Indianapolis 500… Competed in 11 road and street course races with Ed Carpenter Racing with a best start of fourth at St. Pete in his debut and a best finish of 11th at Toronto. He participated in a 2018 pre-season test at the Phoenix International Raceway oval before the season-opener at St. Petersburg but that was his only oval experience.
TEAM STATEMENT ON CHRIS “CHACHI” MINOT’S CONDITION FOLLOWING THE PIT LANE ACCIDENT: “We were relieved to hear that Chris was in good spirits before surgery on his left leg. He will be held overnight at IU Health Methodist Hospital. He has been a member of this team for almost 10 years and is a big asset. We have no doubt that he will come back stronger.”
NEXT UP: The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheaders will take place on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!