Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingBig Machine Music City Grand Prix
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – August 8, 2021
RAHAL FINISHED 5TH, FERRUCCI 11TH AND SATO 24TH IN THE MUSIC CITY GRAND PRIX AFTER AN ACTION-PACKED RACE THAT SAW TWO RED FLAGS AND NINE CAUTION PERIODS
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Well first off if you watched that whole race – thank you! That was the second messiest race of my entire career behind New Orleans, whenever we raced there. So, if you hung in there, thank you. We had a pretty straight forward day. The strategies were kind of all over the place, some guys like Markus got us back under strategy and that’s okay. He actually caused one of the yellows that I think benefited him ultimately at the end of the race but that’s part of the game. For me it was a solid day, the car was not great today, we battled it hard but the United Rentals boys did an amazing job in the pits. We stayed clean, kept our nose clean, ran fast when we needed to and how about Honda? I think that’s a top five sweep. Congrats to them, the motors were sailing over the bridge which was a great thing to see. I want to say this, to Scott Borchetta, and his entire group here at the Music City Grand Prix, you guys don’t understand how much Scott put into this. We shouldn’t be critical; we should be thankful. He’s brought INDYCAR to Nashville. It was a packed house today, it was hotter than you-know-what today, and yet people still turned out. Thank you, Scott, Justin, Dale, all the guys in the ownership group – amazing job, I’m excited to be back next year.”
- FAST FACTS: Rahal qualified 13th and earned a top-five finish to move from ninth place to sixth in series standings… 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 from his pre-race rank of ninth place in series standings to sixth with 286 points.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a really tough race. Nashville was a fantastic atmosphere and it was a really exciting race. The start of the race, there was so many cars and confusion and many incidents but I was able to avoid everything. In fact, I overtook the guys on track so I was catching the front group and up to the P13 so that was pretty encouraging for the initial part of the race. But after the restart, the crash happened and cars piled up just in front of me and in such a tight corner with two cars in a row just stopping just in front of me so I couldn’t avoid it and damaged the front suspension. I did come back to the pit and the boys did a fantastic job to try to fix it, but unfortunately, we weren’t able fix one of the critical parts in time. We wish we were in the race as it was very exciting, very interesting, but onto the next one and hopefully we have a very competitive weekend at the Indy Grand Prix.”
- FAST FACTS: Started 24th and was in 13th place when teammates Will Power and Simon Pagenaud came into contact in Turn 11 and collected other cars in the tight tur. The race was red flagged and once the cars restarted, the team investigated the damage and determined it was impossible to repair the car in time to resume… 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 maintained his 10th place rank in the point standings with 231 points.
SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Well that’s it for the Nashville Grand Prix. Talk about driving in a parking lot. There were a lot of yellows, a lot of cautions. It was very hard to get the rhythm going. We struggled with understeer, but to be honest this Hy-Vee team did a fantastic job, we were great down pit road all day. We had a butterfly failure with the fuel so that’s why fuel couldn’t flow. But other than that, I’m really proud of this team. We obviously just missed another top-10 but we’ll go get ’em in the next one.”
- FAST FACTS: He started in 17th place for the race and finished just outside the top-10 in 11th… 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 returned to the team for the Nashville race.
NEXT UP: The series will reconvene at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix next Saturday, August 14.