RLLR Finished 5th, 10th, & 12th At Belle Isle

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix – Dual 2
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – June 13, 2021

RAHAL, FERRUCCI AND SATO FINISHED FIFTH, TENTH AND TWELFTH IN DUAL 2 OF THE CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX

GRAHAM RAHAL, 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Race 2 is done here in Belle Isle and another top 5 for the United Rentals team today. The boys did a great job in the pits, also did a great job getting Santino’s car fixed up and ready to race, so thank you to all three teams for making that happen. It was a really solid day, I thought we were heading for, really, a kind of smooth top three, top four finish, obviously running fourth but kind of catching Palou. I thought we were going to be in a good spot but it just kind of went away from us a little bit on the restarts. Great job to Pato but I just can’t seem to generate temperature on restarts so we have to figure that out. Solid weekend, solid points, and on to Road America.”

FAST FACTS: Rahal qualified 9th for the race and passed three cars on the start when he passed Daly and Dixon and Grosjean, who made contact. He moved into fifth when Veekay pit under caution. He passed Rossi, who had wing damage from the opening-lap contact, on Lap 11 and held fourth until his first stop on Lap 20. He ran fourth for most of the race but was passed by eventual winner O’Ward after the final restart on Lap 64/70 and finished fifth in his 17th race here… In 2019, he earned two seventh place finishes. Rahal’s most successful race weekend came in Detroit in 2017 where he won Dual 1 from pole and won Dual 2 from a third place start. His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015. Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 15 races here… 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 maintained his eighth place rank in series point standings with a total of 209 points after eight of 16 races.


TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The second race in Detroit was a tough race. I think on the relative (to Saturday), we lost speed unfortunately. Qualifying didn’t go well, we got 19th but like yesterday we fought really strong and I think the strategy was quite good. But I think my racecar unfortunately didn’t get a good speed out of that so I couldn’t quite get to the front. It was tough; top 10 was possible today but we ended up in P12 which wasn’t ideal after yesterday’s P4. Nevertheless, I think we collected quite good data today, and we still have Nashville and Long Beach’s street courses for the rest of the season. Hopefully we will be gearing up for the rest of the season.”

FAST FACTS: Sato qualified 19th and moved up to 15th on the opening lap after Dixon and Grosjean made contact and Chilton also made contact with a car ahead, in separate incidents. Under FCC for contact, Sato went for a three-stop strategy and took advantage of the opportunity to pit to exchange his alternate tires. He retuned to the track in 20th and steadily climbed as high as fourth by Lap 21before his second stop on Lap 26. He returnd to the track in 15th and settled into 13th place until the next pit cycle started and he climbed into 9th before stopping on Lap 46. He ran 12th during the stint, behind teammate Ferrucci part of the time. On a restart on Lap 58, Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci fought for position and Sato was able to jump into 10th place. Grosjean brought out a caution when he stopped on course with a small fire and on the restart from that, Sato ran wide while fighting with Hunter-Reay and dropped back to 12th, where he took the checkered flag in his 17th race here… In his previous 15 races, his best start is two poles (2014 with A.J. Foyt Racing, 2017 with Andretti Autosport), best finish is second in 2015 with AFR and third in 2019 with RLL and he has led a total of 44 laps in three races. He started in the top-five in four of 15 races and earned four, top-five and six, top-10 finishes. In 2019, he started ninth and finished third in Race 1. In Race 2, he started 16th and finished 13th… 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 maintained 10th in the point standings with 181 points.

SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Hats off to this RLL crew. We rebuilt a car – rebuilt! We rolled one out from the top of the hauler within two hours flat and somehow we made this race. We started 12th, finished 10th, we didn’t even put a setup on the car, we just raced it. Hats off to these guys; we had a hell of a day. I cannot thank Hy-Vee enough, Frito-Lay, all our partners at RLL, everybody who helped out from the 15 car, to the 30 car to get this thing ready for us to race today.”

FAST FACTS: Ferrucci had set a time in qualifying to put him in a fourth place starting position but he crashed and brought out a red flag, which took away his two fastest laps and he ended 12th in the session. All three crews took the entire break before the race to get Sato’s backup car ready for the race with the 45 Hy-Vee crew rushing it to the grid before the command “Gentlemen Start Your Engines.” Ferrucci moved from 12th to 10th on the opening lap when Dixon and Grosjean made contact. When Veekay pit under caution on Lap 2/70, he moved into 9th and then climbed into sixth by Lap 15 as various pit strategies went into play. He made his first stop on Lap 19 and returned to the track in 12th. Once most made their stops, he settled into eighth place until his next stop on Lap 45 and returned to the track in 12th place. On Lap 50, race stewards gave him a penalty for blocking Hunter-Reay as he returned to the track from his stop and he had to give up one position to run 11th. On a restart from caution on Lap 57, he battled with Hunter-Reay again and dropped two spots to 13th. When Hunter-Reay and Sato fought, he was able to regain two spots to run 11th and got by Hunter-Reay for 10th on Lap 68, which he held until the checkered flag… After a strong result of sixth place in the Indy 500, Ferrucci joined the team for the doubleheader in Detroit. He competed with Dale Coyne Racing here in 2018 and 2019 with a best start of 13th place in Race 2 in 2018 and best finish of 10th in Race 2 in 2019.

NEXT UP: The REV Group Grand Prix of Road America take place next weekend, June 18-20 and will be broadcast on NBCSN from 12-3 p.m. ET.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.