Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing106th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
OPENING DAY NOTES/QUOTES – May 17, 2022
RAHAL, HARVEY AND LUNDGAARD HAD A PRODUCTIVE OPENING DAY AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN PREPARATION FOR THE INDY 500
1) Takuma Sato 228.939 mph
21) Graham Rahal 225.047 mph
25) Jack Harvey 224.912 mph
27) Christian Lundgaard 224.309 mph
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Opening Day has come to a close here at the Speedway. It was a pretty solid day I think for us. We tried to get through a bunch of aerodynamic testing which I think we did. The last hour of the day, we tried two different setups in race running just to see what we’ve got. We need to find more for sure, we need to find more speed, we need pure speed. I’m getting a lot of understeer in traffic. I know some of the guys look better than us right now, but we’ll keep working on it. Tomorrow we will see what the conditions give us, but I think towards the end of the week we will be just fine. We know what to do. I think it was one of our best opening days as a team to just precisely get through all of the items that we wanted to. So now we can turn our attention to trying to improve the race cars and go a little quicker.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his 15th 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 12th in series standings with 98 points.
CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 30 PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “First day at IMS for practice for the Indy 500 is complete. Obviously this is my first Indy 500 so I am quite excited about this whole experience. It’s been a good and a tough day I’d say. The car felt great in the morning, felt good at the beginning of the afternoon and then I think the track went a little bit away from us. It’s time to have a sit down and have a look at everything. No point in panicking at the moment. We have a few other days to prepare for qualifying. I’m looking forward to seeing what the weather brings for the next few days. It looks like tomorrow is going to be very wet so we will take it as it comes and enjoy.”
- FAST FACTS: This will be Lundgaard’s first Indy 500 and second oval race. He started 24th and ran in the top-10 in his oval racing debut at Texas Motor Speedway in the late stage of the race but ultimately retired I 19th after contact with Herta. He has competed in six INDYCAR SERIES races with a best start of 4th place (IMS road course 2021) and best finish of 9th (IMS road course, 2022)… He is the highest ranked rookie in 17th place in the point standings with 79.
JACK HARVEY, 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Day one done on the oval at IMS. It’s kind of hard to say how today went honestly. These days can be really hard to follow. What’s going to be so important tonight is getting with Christian and Graham and seeing what they liked and what they didn’t like, etc., etc. I think for me, we just need to start every day better than we finished. That means a lot of work tonight for the guys, but I think the #45 Hy-Vee Honda has some potential. We just have to extract a little more from it.”
- FAST FACTS: The race will mark the sixth time for Harvey to compete in the Indy 500. His best start in the Indy 500 is 20th, two times (2020-2021) and best finish is ninth (2020). His highest overall series start is second place and he has accomplished the feat three times, including here (2020 – IMS road course, Road America Race 2; 2021 – St. Pete). The IMS road course is also the site of his highest series finish of third place in 2019. He is ranked 21st with 61 points.
NEXT UP: Practice will resume tomorrow from 12-6 p.m. ET. Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 106th Indianapolis 500 via the Digital Ally Garage Camera on www.rahal.com.