Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing105th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
FAST FRIDAY NOTES/QUOTES – May 21, 2021
FAST FRIDAY ENDS WITH RAHAL, SATO AND FERRUCCI HAPPY WITH THEIR SPEEDS
1) Scott Dixon 233.302 mph
8) Takuma Sato 231.598 mph (10-second, no tow: 5th)
11) Graham Rahal 231.518 mph (10-second, no tow: 2nd)
14) Santino Ferrucci 230.924 mph (10-second, no tow: 9th)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a solid day for the United Rentals team. We recovered well at the end there. We changed a lot today to try and get into a better balance for me; it wasn’t a speed thing, it was just more balance but I do think at the end we were able to find quite a lot of speed so I’m pleased with it. The boys did a great job, Honda did a great job. If you look at the top of the charts, Honda is in for a good shot of filling up the top couple of rows which we’re proud to see. We’ve got to keep our heads down, tomorrow could be a completely different day. We don’t know what everybody’s got in store for us, we don’t know where our draw is going to be but we know there are challenges ahead. We’ve just got to keep focused here.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his 14th 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 and RLL in 2020. 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 fifth in series standings with 137 points, only 39 out of first place.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a very good Fast Friday. Obviously, we bumped up the boost and going to see a 230 mph+. It was a very productive day. We ran only four short sim runs which was half of what we actually planned but that’s because every run we did a really good analysis and then the 30 car in particular just made really good progress. We were very happy in the end. I think all of our speed is coming really close together so that’s very satisfying and obviously most important tomorrow and the day after but I think it was very good preparation.”
- FAST FACTS: Sato is the only active two-time Indy 500 Champion. The 2021 race will be his 12th Indy 500 and fourth 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 SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 500 ) and 10 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; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2). He is 12th in series standings with 98 points.
SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s hard to get back in the car after something like that. I had a lot of confidence in the guys. They’ve been here since 5:30 this morning, turning and burning, and they gave me the confidence to come back out and go flat in our first run and a couple of trip stages later, go back out and put the car in the top 10 and have some of the fastest four lap averages. I can’t argue with that; our Hy-Vee Honda has been on fire today. I’m thinking that we are going for the top nine tomorrow so we’ve still got a lot of work to do. I’m proud of these guys. We’re going to button some things up that we didn’t have a chance to last night and keep massaging this girl until she’s fast. I’m just a racer and I just want to go fast and today’s the best day to go do that. We just keep pushing each other, the team keeps working hard, I want to keep working hard for the team and I’m just proud that the Hy-Vee car is fast. I’m happy to see them up in high spirits, especially after everything that’s happened. Normally it brings a team down but for us it brought us closer together and lifted us up. I’m alright now, I don’t feel it (pain) at all, it’s all that adrenaline. A lot of people came over and helped out and made sure that I’m comfortable. Especially the doctors. A huge thank you to the AMR Safety team – they are without a doubt the best in the business. Just the fact that they spent all the time with me going over to Methodist and coming back and doing some work on my leg this morning making sure it’s all bandaged up and ready to go.”
- FAST FACTS: Ferrucci was cleared to drive at approx. 9 a.m. ET. After all three crews pitched in to repair the No. 45 entry, with the latest work being done until approx. 4:30 a.m., Ferrucci got back on track at approx. 2 p.m. Friday for an installation lap. The team got to work in earnest later… He has competed in two Indy 500’s with his best finish of fourth in the 2020 Indy 500 and his seventh-place finish in the 2019 Indy 500 earned him Rookie of the Year.
NEXT UP: Qualifying will take place tomorrow from 12 – 5:50 p.m. ET. Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 105th Indianapolis 500 via the Digital Ally Garage Camera on www.rahal.com.