Rahal Finished 9th in the Honda Indy 200; Sato Was Sixth on Lap 2 When Avoidable Contact by Chilton Dropped Him to the Back and he Finished 17th

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Verizon IndyCar Series 

RACE NOTES/QUOTES – July 29, 2018



GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I’m disappointed. We just weren’t good enough today. The pace just wasn’t there in the car and the rear was so unstable. We struggled with too much oversteer most of the race which put us a ways behind the eight ball. I just couldn’t get close enough to anybody without losing a lot. We had to just manage the rest of the day. I was hoping for a better result for the  Fifth Third Bank team.”


  • FAST FACTS: He started seventh and drive off course on the opening lap to avoid contact and lost two spots to run ninth.  He gained two spots on Lap 2 when Sato spun after contact with Chilton, and then when Chilton was penalized for avoidable contact. He was sixth when he made his first stop on Lap 15, seventh when he made his second stop on Lap 39 and ninth when he made his third stop on Lap 65.  He maintained the position to take the checkered flag in ninth place… After setting the fastest time in the pre-qualifying practice session, Rahal had progressed to Round 2 and had made his first run on primary tires.  He pitted for the faster, alternate tires and was completing his out lap and getting heat in them to put down a fast lap on the next one but Hinchcliffe crashed and brought out the red flag and the session ended while the crash was being cleaned up so many fast drivers were unable to make their attempts… The 2018 Honda Indy 200 will mark Rahal’s 11th Indy car race here.  His best start is fourth in 2009 and his best finish is his win here in 2015. He has finished in the top-five the past four years.  A complete list of results is available upon request… At the age of 16 in 2005, he 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… His highest start of the season is fifth at Long Beach and his highest finish is second in St. Pete… 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 is ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 335.


TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It’s extremely disappointing not to be able to compete competitively.  The start was good. I overtook a couple of cars and was P6 and there were only a few cars in front and it all looked good but on the second lap in Turn 4 I know Chilton was on Push to Pass and was coming so I left one car space into Turn 4 and it was all good. On the exit of Turn 4 somehow he clipped me from behind and I got spun from that. After that I never recovered in the race. Unfortunately in the middle of the stint the pace wasn’t very good so it was difficult to gain any positions back. I think I dropped to 21st and only gained a few positions in the end so it is very disappointing.  We had high hopes today but that was the race.” 

  • FAST FACTS: He passed Rahal and Max Chilton on the opening lap to run sixth. On the second lap, he was hit by Chilton and spun. He dropped to 21st and gained a spot when Chilton was assessed a drive through penalty for avoidable contact. He ultimately soldiered on to finish 17th… In qualifying, like Rahal, he was on his second run and had recently gone to the faster alternate tires but the session was red-flagged before he was able to bank a faster lap.  Time ran out while the track was being cleared of Hinchcliffe’s crashed car…  Will be his 9th race here. In his eight 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. In 2011 he finished fourth with KVRT and he finished fifth last year after starting third… His highest start of the season is fifth at St. Pete and his highest finish is third at Iowa… Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN 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)… He is ranked 12th in series point standings with 258. 

NEXT UP: The ABC Supply 500 will take place on August 19.