Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingPre-Race Notes
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix – The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
Round 7 of 17 in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES
DATE: June 3-5, 2022
PRACTICE BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium on Friday from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. and Sunday from 10:15 – 10:45 a.m. Also live on the INDYCAR Radio Network (IRN) and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis). All times Eastern.
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium, the IRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis) from 12:35 – 1:50 p.m. ET Saturday.
RACE BROADCAST: Live on USA Network on Sunday, June 5 from 3 – 6 p.m. ET. And also on Peacock Premium, IRN and Sirius XM 160.
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.35-mile, 13-turn temporary street course
RACE LENGTH: 70 laps / 164.5 miles
2021 WINNER(S): Markus Ericsson (Race 1) and Pato O’Ward (Race 2)
2021 POLESITTER(S): Pato O’Ward (111.938; Race 1) and Josef Newgarden (114.156; Race 2)
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit (street) 2017 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana (oval; 500 miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas (oval) 2016; Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017, Detroit Race 2 (street) 2017
RAHAL’S BEST DETROIT START / FINISH: 1st in 2017 in Race 1 / 1st in Race 1 and Race 2 in 2017; will be his 18th race here
LUNDGAARD’S BEST START/FINISH AT DETROIT: First race here
LUNDGAARD’S BEST SERIES START / FINISH: 4th – ’21 Indy GP, Race 2 / 9th – ’22 Indy GP
HARVEY’S BEST START / FINISH AT DETROIT: 18th in 2021 – Race 2 / 16th in 2021 – Race 1; 2 events
HARVEY’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 2nd – Indy GP & Road America (2020), St. Pete 2021 / 3rd at the Indy GP (2019)
RLL’S BEST START / FINISH AT DETROIT: 1st – Graham Rahal (2017, Race 1) / 3 wins: Bobby Rahal (1992 inaugural Belle Isle event), Graham Rahal (2017, Race 1 & Race 2)
NEWS & NOTES:
DETROIT DOMINATION IN 2017 & PODIUM FINISHES FIVE OF THE PAST NINE EVENTS AT BELLE ISLE
The 2022 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will mark the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ 12th visit to Detroit, and it’s 10th since 2008. The Motor City hosted Indy car racing from 1989-91 in Downtown Detroit. The race moved to Belle Isle Park from 1992-2001 and 2007-2008 and returned in 2012. The 2022 event will mark the 22nd year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the team’s 30th race.
The team’s highest start of pole came in 2017 with Graham Rahal. Bobby and Graham Rahal have earned a combined total of three wins for the team here. Bobby won the inaugural race in 1992 and Graham is the only driver to have won both races on the same weekend, which he did in 2017. In total, the team has earned eight podiums (2nd – G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000), (3rd – G. Rahal 2015, Takuma Sato 2019) 12 top-five finishes and 24 top-10’s here (chart available). Prior to 2022, the team prepared a total of 41 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08) Takuma Sato (2012, 2018-2019. ‘21), Graham Rahal (2013-2019, ‘21), James Jakes (2013) and Oriol Servia (2017). The No. 15 United Rentals Honda entry for Graham Rahal, the No. 30 Mi-Jack Honda for Christian Lundgaard and the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda for Jack Harvey will bring that total to 44 in 2022.
THE FINAL RACE AT BELLE ISLE IS BITTERSWEET FOR GRAHAM RAHAL
The event will mark Graham Rahal’s 18th race here. In 2021, he earned two fifth place finishes. In 2019, he earned two seventh place finishes. Rahal’s most successful race weekend came in Detroit in 2017. In Dual 1 in 2017, Rahal earned his first pole since Kansas 2009 and led a dominating 55 of 70 laps en route to his fifth series victory and first ever from pole. He handily held the lead with the exception of pit cycles and built a gap of more than 13 seconds at one point before he ultimately won by a six-second margin over Scott Dixon. For Dual 2, Rahal set the second fastest time in his qualifying group 2 to Sato to start third. In the race, he passed Hunter-Reay on Lap 8 and closed the gap to pole sitter and leader Sato but could not pass. Sato pit one lap earlier than Rahal, who took the lead on Lap 23 before he made his first of two stops on Lap 24 and returned to the track behind Newgarden who was on a three-stop strategy. Once Newgarden pit on Lap 29, Rahal took over the lead and steadily built his gap to second place to 16 seconds over Sato before his second and final stop on Lap 47. He then proceeded to build an 18 second gap over second place before he caught traffic. That reduced his lead to new second place runner Newgarden to 5.5 seconds before a red flag came out for the car of Pigot, who experienced a smoky end. All race cars were stopped in pit lane for approximately 10 minutes while the track was cleared and an attempt to remove marbles was made. The race resumed with a two-lap shootout and Rahal utilized his 57 seconds of Push to Pass over Newgarden’s 36 to keep the lead on the restart before he was able to pull a slight gap before the checkered flag to become the first winner of both races in Detroit. In total, he led 41 of 70 laps. His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015. Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 17 races here. He is looking forward to the return to the traditional weekend schedule with one race verses the doubleheaders that have taken place the past eight events there since 2013.
“I think its good to go back to a traditional race weekend in Detroit. It’s always been a physical, and bruiser of a weekend so to go back to a single race works well. I’ve always loved Detroit being after the 500 because it gives you an opportunity to turn the page and, for us this year, we need that. As far as it being the final race at Belle Isle, for me its kind of a sad ending in many ways but yet big things on the horizon for the Detroit Grand Prix. For a driver like myself who has had success on Belle Isle, I love it and I always look forward to it. Its one of my favorite weekends of the year having won there twice and finished on the podium a few more times. It’s a great place to go year after year but I am also excited to see what comes of it in 2023 and beyond. Going downtown is really perfect. Last year I had a couple of top fives there and we have high hopes and expectations for this year as we always do in Detroit. We expect to be up front.”
THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM FOR JACK HARVEY IN DETROIT
This will mark Jack’s third race on Belle Isle. He competed in the 2021 INDYCAR doubleheader for Meyer Shank Racing where he started 19th, ran as high as ninth and finished 16th after five stops to the winner’s two due to a puncture and alternate strategy. He started 18th in Race 2 and finished 19th. He is looking forward to his third race in Detroit after having made his debut at the track last year in the doubleheader.
“I have always enjoyed going to the race and competing in the doubleheader in 2021. Obviously its bumpy but I enjoy the challenges of that. RLL historically has been quite strong there so I’m excited to get on track and add to that and generate some momentum for the No. 45 Hy-Vee team. We showed some promise on the streets of St. Pete and were showing some progress from Barber to the Indy road course and we want to continue the good work that we started. I’m loving the team and the atmosphere of the team, we’ve just got to figure out a few fundamental things. Everybody works extremely hard so it will come.
“I’m happy to have a traditional race weekend in the sense of practice well, qualify well and race well verses the doubleheader in the past. I’m glad I have gotten the opportunity to race around Belle Isle and proud to be part of the history of being in the last Indy car race here. It’s a really neat track. And I’m very excited to race on the new track that gets created next year. For me it’s the best of both worlds. We’re going to be there for the end of something and also the inaugural race next year. I’m just looking forward to going to Detroit. It’s a place that I used to just go to for the first three years of my Indy car career, having done the 500 and then going to Detroit and just sitting on the sidelines and watching. I’m happy that no matter where an Indy car race is happening, I’ll be there to do it.”
LUNDGAARD MAKES HIS DEBUT IN DETROIT
Christian will drive on one of the bumpiest circuits of the season for this first time this weekend and he is looking forward to a change of pace after two weeks on an oval.
“I’m looking forward to Detroit. It’s a very bumpy track. As we’ve done two street circuits so far this year — the opener and Long Beach – I’m looking forward to seeing where everyone is after the 500. The level of focus required for the whole month of May was high. Obviously it’s my first time in Detroit and I’m just looking forward to getting out there and “full sending” it. I hope we found some pace for the team, all of us being there, competition wise, and getting some good points for the team.”
THE POINT STANDINGS
Graham Rahal is ranked 14th after the double-points Indy 500 race with a total of 130. He is -44 behind fifth place Josef Newgarden. Christian Lundgaard is ranked 17th with 103 points and is the highest ranked rookie. Jack Harvey is 22nd with 73 points.
Rahal, Lundgaard and Harvey Head to Detroit for the Final Race on Belle Isle
Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingPre-Race Notes