#30: Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing104th Running of the Indianapolis 500
CARB DAY NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, August 21, 2020


1)         Pato O’Ward            225.355 mph    
4)         Takuma Sato           224.580 mph    
25)       Graham Rahal         222.158 mph
26)       Spencer Pigot          221.789 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was an interesting day for us in the United Rentals car. When we started off, it was a pretty big struggle for us, but our guys stayed extremely focused and committed and we found a really good race car at the end. Its going to be interesting. There is a lot of different downforce levels and a lot of different things to watch for this race. I think it’s going to be a tricky one.  There were a lot of guys close to hitting the fence each and every lap so buckle up, this is definitely going to be an exciting one. But we feel good about the No. 15 car so let’s see how we do.”

  • 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: I think it was a nice Carb Day. We tried a couple of things we wanted to double check and we got what we want.  I believe we now are ready.  The three of us will now debrief and check the data.  The guys did a great job. I can’t wait until Sunday.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato earned his best start for the Indy 500 of third place for 2020.  His previous best was fourth in 2017…  Is the 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: “The final session before the big race was pretty tricky.  At the beginning the car was a little bit different than we expected. I don’t know if the track just changed a lot since Sunday or what but by the end of the session we definitely got our Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Honda feeling a lot better so we will take a look at what our teammates did and see what they found and put together a great car for Sunday hopefully.”

  • 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. 

NEXT UP:  NBC will begin coverage of the 104th Indianapolis 500 at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 23.  Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 104th Indianapolis 500 via the six Digital Ally Garage Cameras on www.rahal.com during open garage hours.