Round 1 of 14 in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, June 6, 2020
RAHAL HINDERED BY RACE CAR ISSUES ON THE GRID THAT LIMITED HIS FINISH TO 17TH PLACE IN THE GENESYS 300; THE TEAM WAS UNABLE TO REPAIR SATO’S RACE CAR IN TIME FOR THE RACE AFTER A CRASH IN QUALIFYING
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fleet Cost & Care Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “This one got away from us for sure. Our car was fast and I think the guys did a great job but we just had a lot of unforced errors and a couple of stop-and-go penalties. The car wouldn’t start on the grid and needed to be reprogrammed. I said to the guys that the car was built perfectly; the car was fast today. I’m disappointed to come out of here with no points for either car considering we had fast race cars Off we go to the GMR Grand Prix and turn this around.”
- FAST FACTS: Rahal qualified seventh but was unable to leave the grid with the field to complete the pace laps after the car would not start. The team had to pull the car behind the pit wall and reprogram the ECU and he rejoined the field one lap down after the race started. The series penalized him for unapproved changes and re-entry from the garage and he was assessed a stop and go penalty which dropped him to three laps down and in 21st place. He was able to regain a lap later after a caution flag came out on Lap 38 of 200 for rookie VeeKay and Palou, who made contact. After his third stop on Lap 82 under caution for debris, he regained another lap to run one lap down to the leaders. There was a slight problem with the inside rear tire on his fourth stop on Lap 120 while he was running in 20th place but he did not lose a position other than track position. On Lap 146, race leader and eventual winner Dixon passed to put him two laps down. On Lap 156 he made another pit stop and had to maneuver around Ferrucci’s car in the pit before him, due to Ferrucci being sideways in the pit box which lost Rahal a little time on his stop. He was in 18th when he had to serve a stop and go penalty on Lap 169 for running more than 35 green laps on a set of tires which dropped him to 20th. Second place runner Rosenqvist brought out a caution period when he crashed and soon thereafter Ericsson’s car stopped in the pits with an issue. Those incidents, coupled with passing Hinchcliffe in the pits, moved Rahal to 17th by Lap 193, which he held until the checkered flag… Was his 13th race here… He 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.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 ABeam Consulting Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m sorry to all the fans that I couldn’t race. The boys did all they could to repair the car after the crash in qualifying. It’s really hard to believe and understand what happened. It was before the actual timed lap; it was only the warm-up and usually you build up speed and feel the car. When I approached Turn 1, I immediately lost the rear end. Perhaps I was maybe a little outside to make a better felling of it but unfortunately the track today was extremely slippery which I really didn’t know. Unfortunately, I crashed into the wall. In normal circumstances I think the boys would be able to quickly repair the car but since it was a compressed one-day event and not enough time before the race, they did absolutely everything they could up until the last minute so I want to thank them. I have been waiting for eight months to race and have to wait another three weeks now and am extremely disappointed. I also feel bad for my teammate Graham. He had an absolutely fantastic qualifying and he drove the race so hard but it was unfortunate neither car scored points today. I’ve been pretty disappointed today but I have to stay focused and come back stronger in three weeks’ time.”
- FAST FACTS: On his second warm up lap in qualifying, Sato lost traction and the rear of his race car swung around and me made contact with the wall at approx. 4:28 p.m. CT. He was checked and released from the infield care center. The car sustained rear and left-side damage. The team worked diligently to repair his race car but was unable to do so in time to complete the series safety check and go through tech inspection before the start of the race therefore Sato was unable to compete…. Has FIVE INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, St. Louis short oval) and NINE 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).
NEXT UP: The GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will take place on July 4.