Rahal, Ferrucci and Sato: Qualifying Report from the Music City Grand Prix

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingBig Machine Music City Grand Prix


1)         Colton Herta              1:13.6835 / 102.601 mph       (Group 2, Round 3)
13)       Graham Rahal           1:16.1097 / 99.330 mph         (Group 1, Round 1)
17)       Santino Ferrucci       1:16.4647 / 98.869 mph         (Group 1, Round 1)
24)       Takuma Sato             1:15.8503 / 99.670 mph         (Group 2, Round 1)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Qualifying is wrapped up and we will start 13th. I’m mightily disappointed. Unfortunately, in a situation like that, one of the things we’ve really struggled with on all cars is to generate tire temperature. And in a situation like we just had, where you have one lap, you have to go do your out lap and then bam you’ve got to hit it and our tires just don’t come in (to optimum temperate). It’s not a good excuse, but unfortunately you see it with all of our cars. You see it with Takuma, you see it with Santino in that run as well – you know he’s 4/10ths plus behind us. We have got to figure out how to generate tire temperature and get these things in. So we’re going to put our heads down and keep trying and typically that’s why we race well, but it’s clearly why we don’t qualify well. We have to put our heads down and figure it out, but we will be able to come forward a bit from 13th.  We need to be smart about the start; we need to stay out of trouble. It’s extremely wide coming down into Turn 9. There are going to be some great moves tomorrow. We’ve got some aggressive guys right behind us. We’re going to have to be really smart about what we do. I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be the inaugural event in downtown Nashville… 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 in 9th place in series point standings with a total of 256.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a tough qualifying for us. We didn’t get a good feeling in practice and we tried something experimental in qualifying and we had to use two sets of the brand new tires too so it was a tough one. I think the race we have so much unknown as a new venue, and we have a warmup session still so we will try to get out with a different setup and hopefully we will move forward.” 

  • FAST FACTS: In qualifying, Takuma was penalized for speeding in pit lane and had to do a drive through during his second run.  Will be the inaugural race in downtown Nashville… 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 10th in the point standings with 256 points.

SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We’re going to roll off 17th tomorrow. The Hy-Vee Honda was really decent, we just didn’t get the red tires switched on especially with the short session so it was definitely difficult. Overall, it’s not where we want to start so we have to get through Turn 1 and go racing.” 

  • FAST FACTS: After a strong result of sixth place in the Indy 500, sixth and tenth respectively in Race 1 and 2 at the doubleheader in Detroit, and ninth at Mid-Ohio, Santino returns to the team for the Nashville race.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING IN NASHVILLE… The Music City Grand Prix will mark the inaugural event for the team here.  The series previously conducted eight races on the 1.33-mile Nashville Super Speedway oval from 2001-2008.The team’s highest start there was pole in 2004 by Buddy Rice and highest finish was fourth with Danica Patrick.

NEXT UP:  The pre-race warm-up will take place tomorrow from 1:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET and the 80-lap Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will air live on NBC Sports Network at 5:30 p.m. ET. Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes commentary by the INDYCAR Radio Network.