Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – Race 2
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – September 13, 2020
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The Fifth Third Bank car was strong today. We were able to pass a few guys on the second stint but didn’t feel great on those reds towards the end. I was struggling a little bit and I think that hurt us. I think we had more pace than those guys (top-three) but the track position was hard. All in all, I thought our strategy was good, the pit stops were good and the Fifth Third Bank car was good. Two fourth-place finishes here is not too bad. We would have liked to gain a little more points on the guys ahead but we’ll take it. I think we closed the gap to some. That was as physical of a weekend as you are going to have. Congrats to Colton (Herta) on a great run. This weekend we raised $7500 for Turns for Troops with United Rentals so that’s another thing to be happy about.”
FAST FACTS: Wet conditions in qualifying led to havoc and a lot of cars off course. Rahal set the sixth fastest time in his group to start 12. Rahal avoided a multi-car crash set off by Ferruccci on the opening lap to run sixth. He lost a spot to Ericsson on Lap 8 while battling with a loose helmet pad that ultimately flew out of the cockpit. Rookie Kellett spun so the majority of the field jumped into pit lane on Lap 15 for their first stops and Rahal retuned to the track in 10th, after having lost one spot to Newgarden. Once the race restarted he got by Newgarden, then Ericsson and gained another spot when Dixon spun on Lap 22. He then passed Pagenaud. On Laps 29 and 32, Andretti and Sato made their out-of-sequence stops and Rahal ran fourth. He cycled into the lead on Lap 46 before his final stop on Lap 47 and retuned in fifth, behind Dixon who had to make another stop. He began to reel in third place Hunter-Reay and closed to -0.6 by the checkered flag after 75 laps… Was his 14th race here. His best start is fourth in 2009 and 2017 and his best finish is his win here in 2015. In addition to Indy car races here, at the age of 16 in 2005, Rahal became the youngest to claim the SCCA National Formula Atlantic championship at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs here by a dominant 43-seconds. He also competed in the Star Mazda race here in 2005 (S/F 4/9) and tested a Grand Am car here in 2007… 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 seventh to sixth in series point standings with a total of 301.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Everyone pit under the second yellow. Strategy-wise, staying out allowed us to try something and we led the race for a while and made over five seconds of gap, which was needed. But unfortunately, after the second sequence, we hit huge traffic where everybody was going in and out, in and out (of the pits) and we lost a couple of seconds. And then by the time everything was finished we went back to where we were. It’s a shame but we had to try. It was a tough weekend for us.”
FAST FACTS: Wet conditions in qualifying led to havoc and Takuma was 11th fastest in his group to start 22nd. In the race, a multi-car crash was set off on the first lap and he moved up to 19th. Rookie Kellett went off course to bring out a caution and the majority of the field pit except Sato and Andretti, who ran 1-2. He made his first stop from the lead on Lap 32 and then pit again on Lap 48 to try to get clear track but ran into traffic again and ultimately finished 18th. … Was his 11th race here. In his 10 previous races, his best start is third – in 2010 with KVRT and in 2017 with Andretti Autosport. He has two, top-five finishes and three top-10’s. His best finish is fourth in 2011 with KVRT… His highest start of the season is pole at St Louis – Race 2 and his highest finish is his win at the Indianapolis 500 … Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, St. Louis oval, 2020 Indy 500) and TEN 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; St. Louis oval – Race 2). He dropped from fourth to seventh in series point standings with 300.
NEXT UP: The Harvest Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway doubleheaders will take place Oct. 2-3.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!