Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway
NTT IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – August 18, 2019
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 TOTAL Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
“We need a little more pace. We were a little slow on the straights for some reason but we’ll keep digging into it. I had a bad restart (went from fifth to ninth), but it wasn’t that bad actually. I was pulling up on the guys in front of me but I just got driven around and was in a position where I was a little bit of a sitting duck and lost a bunch of spots and that killed our race from then-on frankly. We were scrambling just to get ourselves back in position. I had another good restart later and went from 13th to 9th and made some of those spots back up.”
Started eighth based on point standings. As the field approached Turn 2 on the opening lap, Rossi made a slow start which led to Sato passing him on the high side and Hunter-Reay on the inside. Rossi and Sato made contact, which collected Hunter-Reay. The impact sent all three into the inside wall before the cars came back on the racing surface in Turn 2. Sato’s car then made contact with Rosenqvist and Hinchliffe hit the outside wall when he attempted to avoid the crash. All drivers were checked and cleared at the Medical Center but Rosenqvist was transported to a local hospital and later released. A red flag came out to clean the track and the race restarted approx. 45 minutes later. The field took to the track under caution with Rahal in sixth place. He moved into fifth when Power pit for new tires and before the green flag came out on Lap 8. He passed Ferrucci on Lap 9 for fourth and held the position until his first pit for fuel and tires on Lap 35. He moved into fifth place on Lap 40 when a caution came out for Pigot, who crashed. When the race restarted on Lap 46 he dropped to ninth place by Lap 47 and 10th by Lap 49. As the pit cycle began, he moved up to 9th on Lap 65. He made a stop on Lap 70 and when a caution came out on Lap 74 for Herta, who crashed, he stayed a lap down temporarily. He was waved around later during the caution and ran in 11th place. He ran 10th for the majority of the next stint before he pit on Lap 104. He ran 9th by Lap 113 as the field was watching for inclement weather approaching. A caution came out on Lap 127 and a red flag came out on Lap 128 due to lightning in the area. Rain came soon thereafter and the race was declared official… Was his seventh race here. His highest start is fifth in 2015 and his highest finish is 9th in 2017 although he has run in the top-five all but two races. In 2018, on the start as the field approached the acceleration zone, many drivers reported front runners accelerating then quickly jumping on the brakes. This caught Rahal off guard and he hit Spencer Pigot. Both incurred damage but the pit didn’t open for a few laps as the field was put in order. Once the pits opened, Rahal pitted for a new front nose and was leaving the pits when a five-car crash happened that involved Ryan Hunter-Reay, Robert Wickens, James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato and Pietro Fittipaldi. The race was ultimately red flagged for almost two hours while the fencing was repaired. Once restarted, he was in 16th place, and three laps down due to a two-lap penalty for the team working on the car during the red flag as well as a lost lap due to the earlier stop. He moved up to 15th when Kanaan retired and into 14th when Conor Daly brushed the wall. He took the checkered flag in 14th place, four laps down…
His highest start of the season is second at Barber and his highest finish is third at Texas Motor Speedway.
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.
Rahal moved from eighth place in series point standings to seventh with a total of 334.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
“First of all, I am worried about Felix. Hopefully he is okay. I am sorry for all the guys fighting for the championship. Ryan and I were obviously racing at the exit of Turn 1 and it looks like Alexander had a slow start. We both went right and left (of Rossi) and I thought it was all clear. All the seams also are putting the car really easy to get the lane change and everybody gets close. Unfortunately, it looks like we made contact for that.”
FAST FACTS: Started seventh based on point standings. As the field approached Turn 2 on the opening lap, Rossi made a slow start which led to Sato passing him on the high side and Hunter-Reay on the low side. Rossi and Sato made contact, which collected Hunter-Reay. The impact sent all three into the inside wall before the cars came back on the racing surface in Turn 2. Sato’s car then made contact with Rosenqvist and Hinchliffe hit the outside wall when he attempted to avoid the crash. All drivers were checked and cleared at the Medical Center but Rosenqvist was transported to a local hospital and later released. A red flag came out to clean the track and the race restarted approx. 45 minutes later…
Was his seventh race here. In his six previous races, his best start is pole in 2017 with Andretti Autosport and his best finish is sixth in 2015 after he led three laps with A.J. Foyt Racing. In 2018, he started the race from 10th place and passed Bourdais for 9th but on a restart from a caution involving Rahal and Pigot, cars two rows ahead made contact which set off a multi-car accident and he had nowhere to go and was collected. He was checked in the medical center and cleared to race. He ultimately retired in 21st place. He retired with electrical failure in 2014 and contact in 2013 and 2016 while with A.J. Foyt Racing.
His highest start of the season is pole at Barber (road) and Texas (oval) and his highest finish is his win at Barber … Has FOUR IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road) and NINE 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, Texas oval). He dropped from seventh to eighth in the series point standings with a total of 334 points.
NEXT UP: The Bommarito 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway will take place on Saturday, August 31.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!