Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
NTT IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – September 22, 2019
RAHAL FINISHED 12TH IN THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY AND 10TH IN SERIES STANDINGS; SATO DROPPED THREE PLACES TO END THE SEASON RANKED NINTH AFTER HE WAS HIT IN THE RACE AND FINISHED 21ST
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Today was a tough day. I thought at times that we had decent pace and at other times we really struggled with the rear of the car. We’re just missing a little something. We’ve been close this year but not quite there. I’m proud of our mechanics and all of the guys for keeping their heads down and continuing to work hard. It wasn’t the easiest of years but everyone stayed positive and fought until the end. We’re thankful for all of our partners and looking forward to 2020.”
FAST FACTS: Rahal started eighth and lost two positions on the start to Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci. He dropped to 11th on Lap 5 when Rosenqvist passed him. He cycled as high as fifth place before his second pit stop on Lap 39 but ran 10th for the majority of his next stint before his third and final stop. He came out 11th and later lost a position to Hunter-Reay on Lap 68 of 90 and ultimately took the checkered flag 12th… 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… He dropped from 9th to 10th in series point standings with a total of 389 points.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 ABeam Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I think the season was great. It was a little bit up and down of course but we achieved a couple of pole positions, a couple of podiums and two wins and I think it was a great season. I can’t thank everyone enough for their support. We had some difficult circumstances but the team was fully behind me and I was able to push all the way through the season. In the race, we had some issues and a mechanical failure in the end. It is a shame that we couldn’t finish high and try to get fifth in the championship. In the end we dropped significantly in the standings. The No. 30 car ran beautifully this season with Graham and I pushing each other all season. We will come back even stronger next season and I’m really looking forward to that. Thank you to everyone for their support.”
FAST FACTS: Started the race 16th and was one of three drivers to elect to start on primary tires. He gained a position on the start but later dropped two positions on the end of the opening lap. He was the second driver to make a stop when he pitted on Lap 10 of 90 to replace the primary tires. After dropping to the back, he moved up to run right behind Rahal in 12th by Lap 30. He cycled up to 10th before his second stop on Lap 36 and was in 11th place when a caution came out for contact between Daly and Andretti on Lap 45. After the restart, Ferrucci hit Sato in Turn 2 and dropped him to 21st place. Based on the positions that drivers were running in, he was still on target to finish the season sixth in points. He moved up to 19th but later pit to check for damage to the race car from the previous incident that impacted the steering. He continued to race in an attempt to salvage points and took the checkered flag in 21st place but lost three positions in the series standings due to the double points race… Was his first race here… Highest start of the season is pole at Barber (road) and Texas (oval) and his highest finish is his win at Barber and St. Louis… Has FIVE IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, St. Louis short oval) 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 sixth to 9th in series point standings with a total of 415 points.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!