Rahal Earned His Second Podium of the Season With Third Place in Race 2 of the Iowa INDYCAR 250s; Sato Struggled With Handling And Finished 21st

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Iowa INDYCAR 250s – Iowa Speedway
RACE 2 NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, July 18, 2020


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The Hy-Vee car came in third and I think we actually had the best car on track tonight. We passed a ton of cars. It was just hard at the end when Will was driving on the same line as me. It was difficult up high to get the grip to go by. Thanks to Hy-Vee for coming on board this weekend and thanks to Honda; the motor was a rocket. We’re proud to be powered by Honda. It was a great run right there and just a good rebound for our team after starting in the back. I’m super excited with P3 and we’re moving up in the championship. The entire team worked awfully hard. It was a great showing for Hy-Vee, thanks for coming onboard.  And even better, we raised $24,900 for Turns for Troops with United Rentals this weekend which is awesome.”

  • FAST FACTS: After setting the eighth fastest time in the pre-race practice, he started his 14th race here from 19th place.  He extended his stint the longest and made his first stops from the lead on Lap 63. Due to track position, he went a lap down but was able to get it back by Lap 84 before he made his second stop from the lead on Lap 119 under caution for Carpenter once the pits opened. He returned to the track in fourth place and closed on third place Power before passing him on Lap 129 for third. He cycled back into the lead on Laps 171-174 before his third stop on Lap 175 and had moved into sixth a few laps later when Hunter-Reay brought out a caution. After the pits opened, a few drivers made stops and he restarted in fourth place. Once third place Daly made his stop, Rahal moved into third on Lap 216 and held it until the checkered flag…  He has earned eight top-10 finishes in 12 starts with his best being fourth in 2015. … 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 moved into a tie for fifth place with second-place finisher Will Power with a total of 142 points.
Graham Rahal on the podium at Iowa Speedway (Photo Courtesy of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I had a massive handling problem. The car was very loose. We had to come back to the pits for an extra, emergency, pit stop to reduce the seven turns of front wing, down, which is something unusual. We haven’t looked at the car yet to see if there was something wrong but it was a tough, long night. Congrats to Graham. He did a great job for the 15 team”

  • FAST FACTS: After running the fifth fastest time in the pre-race practice, he started from 20th place but struggled with the handling of his race car for the duration of the race and finished 21st…  In his previous 11 races at Iowa Speedway, Takuma’s best start is pole in 2011 with KV Racing where he also led seven laps and his best finish is third place in 2018… 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 17th in series point standings with 99 after his streak of top-10 finishes ended.

RLL AT IOWA:  The best finish for the team is third by Rahal today, 2018 by Takuma Sato and 2007 by Scott Sharp who also earned the top start for the team of fourth the same year.  The team has earned three podiums (3rd – Sharp 2007, Sato 2018, Rahal 2020) and 10, top-10 finishes at the track.   

NEXT UP: The series will take next two weeks off before heading to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 300 on August 8-9.