Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
REV Group Grand Prix at Road America – RACE 2
NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Round 4 of 14
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, July 12, 2020
SATO FINISHED EIGHTH IN RACE 2 OF THE REV GROUP GRAND PRIX OF ROAD AMERICA AFTER STARTING 12TH; RAHAL STARTED FIFTH BUT WAS TAKEN OUT ON THE OPENING LAP
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m okay (after the crash). I’m sorry for Fifth Third Bank and for all of our partners that were hoping for a good day just like us. It’s disappointing to see desperation moves like that, that early in the race. I’ve made them before so I know them well. We’re okay from the hit. It was a disappointing end to our race today and we had a really good chance for a good finish. It was extremely short with only doing one turn. I’m pretty upset with the way it all worked out but we’ve got Iowa next week and we’ve got to look ahead and try to do a better job there. We had a good car this weekend. Our guys did a good job but it’s just a shame we didn’t get a chance at it today.”
- FAST FACTS: He started fifth and on the opening lap was hit by Will Power in Turn 3 which sent him off course and into two different concrete walls in Turn 3. Power had previously made contact with Hunter-Reay in Turn 1 and was penalized for “avoidable contact” and had to go to the back of the field for the restart. Rahal was checked and released from the infield medical center… 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 dropped from fifth place in series point standings to a tie for eight with race winner Felix Rosenqvist with a total of 88 points.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “From yesterday, we couldn’t get the balance right so overnight we had to change quite a lot so it was a little bit of a gamble to go into qualifying with the unknowns. We had to take two new (sets of) reds tires for qualifying, which was a sacrifice for the race, but we improved our starting position, which was good. At the start, the guys in front had a big crash and I had nowhere to go and lost a lot of positions, like the last three races. We gradually came back and I think the boys did a fantastic job on the pit stops. We gained quite a lot of positions so in the end fighting for eighth place is not ideal but the to be racing with the Penske’s, I don’t think was too bad. Hopefully next week at Iowa continues the trend of improving finishing positions from 10th, ninth and now eighth. We will definitely try.”
- FAST FACTS: Started 12th and had to take evasive action on the opening lap from the contact ahead and lost positions to Newgarden, Veach, Kimball, Andretti, Ericsson and VeeKay. He ran 14th until others began to make stops and cycled up to fourth before he made his first stop on Lap 16 of 55. He returned to run 14th until the next cycle began and he moved up to fourth again before his second stop on Lap 28. A few cars pit and he later passed Power for ninth place on Lap 37. He was up to eighth place when he made his final stop and returned to the track in the same position. He had to stretch his fuel which enabled ninth place runner Newgarden to close a two-second gap to 0.4 by the final lap but Sato held him off to finish eighth… 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)… He dropped from 15th to 16th in series point standings with 69 after top-10 finishes in the past three races.
NEXT UP: The Iowa INDYCAR 250’s will take place next Friday and Saturday nights, July 17-18.