Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
105th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – May 23, 2021
1) Alex Palou 225.649 mph
6) Takuma Sato 224.430 mph
7) Graham Rahal 224.376 mph
17) Santino Ferrucci 223.055 mph
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was not a bad day; I thought we got the United Rentals car a lot better. I think we’re extremely racy. It’s just tough out there when you get buried in the back. It’s going to be a challenge. You’re going to have to drive this race extremely smart. There are a lot of good cars, and a lot of bad cars. I thought everybody we ran around today all looked pretty solid. There are a lot of evenly-matched guys; we’re going to have to race smart and hopefully get ourselves there in the end. Tire conditions today too were something to consider. We were not all on the same tires. Some new, some used, some guys coming out on new tires toward the end of a stint so that’s a little hard to manage and balance but at the end I do feel good. We’re cautiously optimistic at this point.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his 14th Indy 500. 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 and RLL in 2020. 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 is currently fifth in series standings with 137 points, only 39 out of first place.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We made a lot of group runs in the final practice before Carb Day, which is good but I think it was the hottest day of any practice session so we had to put in more downforce. We checked quite a few items and I think it was productive. I need to see the data again and then we will put everything together that was positive to check on Carb Day. At least it was a good, productive day again.”
FAST FACTS: Sato is the only active two-time Indy 500 Champion. The 2021 race will be his 12th Indy 500 and fourth 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. He finished third for RLL in 2019 and was a contender in the final laps… Has SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway 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 road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2). He is 12th in series standings with 98 points.
SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a fun day for the Hy-Vee Honda team. There is a lot of work to be done on the setup for race trim and we’re getting closer. We went back to the pad to make another adjustment. It’s all about taking baby steps. It’s really hard to pass, especially in the train and we just want to be there and be close enough in the tow that if someone makes a mistake, we can definitely capitalize and have a good car at the start of the race. We have a little bit more engineering to do for Friday’s Carb Day and we’ll be good to go on Sunday.”
FAST FACTS: He has competed in two Indy 500’s with his best finish of fourth in the 2020 Indy 500 and his seventh-place finish in the 2019 Indy 500 earned him Rookie of the Year.
NEXT UP: Carb Day practice for the 105th Indy 500 will take place Friday, May 28 from 11-1 p.m. ET. Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 105th Indianapolis 500 via the Digital Ally Garage Camera on www.rahal.com.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!