Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
104th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
OPENING DAY NOTES/QUOTES – August 12, 2020

SATO, RAHAL AND PIGOT HAVE A PRODUCTIVE OPENING DAY AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN PREPARATION FOR THE INDY 500

1)         James Hinchcliffe   224.526 mph   
13)       Takuma Sato            221.551 mph   
25)       Graham Rahal          221.498 mph
26)       Spencer Pigot          221.492 mph


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara / Honda / Firestone: “It’s the end of Day 1 here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and I think it was a solid day for our team.  I know that sometimes on the time sheets it doesn’t look like it though. I didn’t get the big tow, in the traffic on new tires, light fuel and all that sort of stuff. In fact our goal today was to use as little tires as possible. We ended up running two sets of tires almost two full stints per set so I’m pleased with that, pleased with the consistency of the car. Obviously we need to find a little bit of speed, find a little more grip in traffic and I think every driver here is saying that tonight. And if you saw us on track, its definitely quite a challenge for sure.  We’re going to sit down with the engineers and try to work on not only the United Rentals car but also our teammates and hopefully we can get Takuma and Spencer a little more competitive as well. The team had a long list of things we wanted to get done and we got those done so now we can go forward from here.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 13th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in eight of his 11 previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. 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 is currently sixth in series standings with 142 points, only 53 out of second place.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara / Honda / Firestone: “We’re back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it is a very happy time for us.  This is a moment we waited for, for a long time. Its August but it is a fantastic feeling. We jumped in the car and went fast, not 230 mph yet because of the boost level today, but it’s a great feeling. We did a number of test items today, splitting over three cars because this year the schedule is compressed a lot. We literally have today and tomorrow for the race setup and then Friday is Fast Friday. There is still a lot of work to be done but we did a solo run and a group run and were relatively competitive so it was a very good day.” 

  • FAST FACTS: 2017 Champion of the Indy 500.  The 2020 race will be his 11th Indy 500 and third with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. He finished third for RLL in 2019 and was a contender in the final laps… Has FIVE IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway 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 road, Texas oval).  He is 17th in series standings with 99 points.

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 45 Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Dallara / Honda / Firestone: “Overall it’s good to be back at Indy. I think we’ve all waited a long time for this so it’s nice to be here. On track, things went pretty well in the first session. Its cool to be going those speeds again. I haven’t been on an oval since late August last year so it felt great to go over 220 mph again. The No. 45 Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh car looks great. I thought we made some good improvements and changes and the car was feeling pretty good.  The afternoon was a little tougher for us.  We tried some things on our list and, even if we don’t go that direction, it was good to get some reads and data on that. We definitely have a good idea of what we want from the car so hopefully tomorrow we can find it.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth Indianapolis 500 and second with the team (2016).  His best start in the Indy 500 is third and his best finish is 14th – both in 2019 with Ed Carpenter Racing… He drove one of his best Indy car races to date with RLL earlier this year in the GMR Grand Prix. He started 16th and raced into the lead on Lap 55 but a likely podium finish evaporated after a mechanical failure led to his retirement after 74 of 80 laps. 

ABOUT TAKUMA SATO’S CO-PRIMARY SPONSOR PEOPLEREADY
PeopleReady has been an associate sponsor on Takuma Sato’s No. 30 entry in 2020 and will be the co-primary sponsor for the Indy 500. PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE:TBI), specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor, as well as highly-skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform, PeopleReady serves more than 130,000 businesses and puts more than 300,000 people to work each year, operating more than 600 branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Learn more at www.peopleready.com.

NEXT UP: Practice will take place from 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET tomorrow. Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 104th Indianapolis 500 via the Digital Ally Garage Camera on www.rahal.com.