Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Bommarito 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway – RACE 2
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – August 30, 2020
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Race 2 was disappointing for the United Rentals team just because of where we started. Today is a lesson in how important qualifying is. It was hard to pass on track. The tire is very hard here and it makes it difficult for the drivers but I’ve got to say it was massively better today. If you look at our fastest lap time, it was as quick as O’Ward who finished second. It’s just a shame we started at the back. We never were able to make our way forward. We lost a lap early when we came in the pits with (leader) Newgarden and he just beat us out which put us a lap down and from there we kind of scrambled. But I’ve got to say the silver lining in all this is yes, this weekend sucked for us but we made great gains today. Twentieth doesn’t look like it but I assure you we did. Head down, focus forward and we’ll get them at the next one.”
FAST FACTS: Started 23rd and had a much better handling race car than Race 1 but the lack of caution periods, other than the opening lap due to track cleanup and the last few laps of the race, negated the opportunity to move forward and he finished 20th… Was his fifth race here. His highest start is seventh and highest finish is 10th – both in 2018. … He has earned three podiums (Indy GP, Iowa, Indy 500) in eight races this season, contended for the win in two others and could have been a podium contender in the other two… 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 dropped from fifth to seventh in series point standings with a total of 236.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 ABeam Consulting Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We led the race and saved a bunch of fuel but we caught the tail end of the pack. Today there was a lot of dust offline and it was very difficult to overtake. The team made the decision to stay out but it seems that everybody undercut us on the first stint and that was it. After that we tried to stretch the fuel and then go off sequence but caught traffic every time. Some of the cars were four laps down and the team said they heard they were told ‘Keep the 30 car behind’ which is not racing. It’s not sportsman-like and I’m not very happy with that. But there is nothing we can do about it.”
FAST FACTS: Started from his 10th pole position and went the longest on his first stint than others but caught the pack, which hindered his lap times and later, his track position. After leading the first 59 laps, he pit and returned to the track in eighth place, but in traffic. He cycled back into the lead from Laps 102-108 before his second stop on Lap 109 and returned to the track in sixth place behind the lapped car of Askew. Once around Askew, he was behind 22nd place Veach, who was shown the blue flag to alert him that a faster car was behind. Sato was unable to pass for the entire stint in order to catch up to Herta, the next car ahead in order, so the team called him in for his final stop early on Lap 148. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before he was behind Veach again while running seventh. He set his fastest race lap on Lap 158 but was still unable to pass him to try to catch up with Herta. On Lap 197, Sato brushed the wall in Turn 2 and the caution came out. He held onto ninth place until the checkered flag… Won the race in 2019 after he led the final 61 laps en route to victory. Was his fourth race here. His matched his highest start of fifth place this year (2020, 2019) and his highest finish is first in 2019… Has SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road & WWTR oval, 2020 – Indy 500) and 10 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; 2020 St. Louis Race 2). He maintained fourth in series point standings with a total of 274 points.
NEXT UP: The Harvest Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will take place on October 2. Graham Rahal finished second in the GMR Grand Prix there on July 4 and Takuma Sato won the Indy 500 there last weekend.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!