Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHy-Vee INDYCAR Weekend – Iowa Speedway
Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 – Saturday, July 23
Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 – Sunday, July 24
Rounds 11 & 12 of 17 in the NTT INDYCAR SERIESDATE: July 22-24, 2022
PRACTICE BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium on Friday from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET. Also live on the INDYCAR Radio Network (IRN) and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium, the IRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis) from 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. ET Saturday.
RACE BROADCAST(S): Live on NBC on Saturday, July 23 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET and live on NBC on Sunday, July 24 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET. And also, on Peacock Premium, IRN, Sirius 211 and XM 205
TRACK LAYOUT: 0.875-mile tri oval
RACE LENGTH: 250 laps / 218.75 miles (Race 1), 300 laps / 262.5 miles (Race 2)
2020 WINNER: Simon Pagenaud (Race 1), Josef Newgarden (Race 2)
2020 POLESITTER: Conor Daly (175.188, Race 1), Josef Newgarden (175.333, Race 2)
RAHAL’S BEST IOWA START / FINISH: 6th in 2013 / 3rd in 2020 (Race 2); will be his 15th & 16th races here
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 3 Poles – St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit (street) 2017 / 6 Wins – St. Pete 2008, Fontana (oval; 500 miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas (oval) 2016; Detroit Race 1 2017, Detroit Race 2 2017
LUNDGAARD’S BEST START / FINISH AT IOWA: First race here
LUNDGAARD’S BEST SERIES START / FINISH: 4th – ’21 Indy GP, Race 2 / 8th – ’22 Toronto
HARVEY’S BEST START / FINISH AT IOWA: 6th in 2020, Race 2 / 7th in 2020 Race 1 & 2; competed in the 2015 Indy Lights race
HARVEY’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 2nd – Indy GP & Road America (2020), St. Pete 2021 / 3rd at the Indy GP (2019)
RLL’S TOP START / FINISH AT IOWA: 4th by Sharp in 2007 / 3rd – 2020 Race 2 by G. Rahal, 2018 by Takuma Sato and 2007 by Scott Sharp
NEWS & NOTES:
RLL AT IOWA SPEEDWAY
The 2022 Hy-Vee INDYCAR Weekend will mark the 13th and 14th events for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Iowa Speedway. The best finish for the team is third place (2020 Race 2 by G. Rahal, 2018 by Sato and 2007 by Scott Sharp). Sharp also earned the top start for the team of fourth in 2007. Prior to the 2022 events, the team prepared a total of 18 entries for drivers Scott Sharp (2007), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012, 2018-2020 x 2) Graham Rahal (2013-2020 x 2) and James Jakes (2013). The team has earned three podiums (3rd – Sharp 2007, Sato 2018, Rahal 2020) and nine, top-10 finishes at the track. The team will prepare the No. 15 High Rock Vodka entry for Graham Rahal, the No. 30 Shield Cleansers entry for Christian Lundgaard and the No. 45 Hy-Vee entry for Jack Harvey for both races.
GRAHAM AT IOWA SPEEDWAY
The 2022 Hy-Vee INDYCAR Weekend doubleheader will mark Graham Rahal’s 15th and 16th races here. He has earned 10 top-10 finishes in 14 starts with his best begin fourth in 2015. In 2020, he started his 13th race here from 21st place and stayed on the lead lap until Lap 23 of 250. The team was on a four-stop strategy and the handling appeared to improve mid-to-late race but he reported a vibration and struggled with the handling of the car so he made another stop from 10th place on Lap 227 and ultimately finished 12th. In Race 2, in the Hy-Vee Honda, he set the eighth fastest time in the pre-race practice and started from 19th place. He extended his stint the longest and made his first stop from the lead on Lap 63. Due to track position, he went a lap down but was able to get it back by Lap 84 before he made his second stop from the lead on Lap 119 under caution for Carpenter once the pits opened. He returned to the track in fourth place and closed on third place Power before passing him on Lap 129 for third. He cycled back into the lead on Laps 171-174 before his third stop on Lap 175 and had moved into sixth a few laps later when Hunter-Reay brought out a caution. After the pits opened, a few drivers made stops and he restarted in fourth place. Once third place Daly made his stop, Rahal moved into third on Lap 216 and held it until the checkered flag. After a fourth-place finish last Sunday in Toronto, Rahal is looking forward to carrying over the momentum and getting back to the place where RLL’s relationship with Hy-Vee started.
“I don’t know that anybody – promoter or sponsor – that has put as much into this as Hy-Vee has. As far as this event, the concerts speak for themselves. And the fact that the campers can get their groceries delivered to their campsite, all of these little things really change the model and mold in which we should promote and look at the activation surrounding INDYCAR races. I think it’s an amazing thing and hopefully it’s a wonderful crowd and that everyone comes out and can enjoy it with us. Hy-Vee has changed the game and we’re proud to be part of that.
“I’ve always loved Iowa. It’s an ultra-challenging short oval. Its massively demanding and a really tricky place to race but it rewards a smart thinker. There are teams in the past that have dominated, whether it was Penske or Andretti, who for years won almost every single one. Our test went well, I felt like we learned some good things and got some good direction and hopefully that will help us this time around.
“It is massively important to unload from the transporter competitive. For us, it’s going to be extremely important that we come out of the box good and qualify well. It’s a long race — both of them — but still qualifying well makes your day that much easier. I think the heat is going to play a role. It’s so hot there, and the heat can wear you down. Clearly the airflow isn’t great no matter what in an Indy car so it’s hot. I think the heat will mentally wear you out there combined with the (G-Force) loading and the short straights and everything else. The mental aspect will be really critical.”
CHRISTIAN’S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND AND NEXT ADVENTURE – THE SHORTEST OVAL OF THE SEASON
It will be Lundgaard’s first race at Iowa Speedway but he tested at Iowa Speedway on June 20. After approaching the learning curve of oval racing methodically at Texas Motor Speedway in March and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, he will take on the shortest oval on the INDYCAR schedule two times this weekend. He earned a career-best INDYCAR finish of eighth place last Sunday in Toronto and is looking to build on that in Iowa.
“We’re all excited to go to Iowa and representing Hy-Vee as a team – especially the 45 car. We had a good test there so rolling off the trucks, we should have a good starting point. There is only one practice session before we go out and hopefully have great performances. Its going to be a tough weekend. It’s my birthday weekend and its two long races with a doubleheader Saturday and Sunday so keeping the car in one piece on Saturday is absolutely crucial for Sunday and making sure we’re all in a good spot. Rolling off after Toronto I think the whole team is in a good place. Everyone is quite satisfied in one way so we need to keep that going and have a good weekend in Iowa.”
JACK HARVEY AND THE HOME RACE
It will be pretty difficult to be at Iowa Speedway, and also in the greater Des Moines area, and not see Jack Harvey or his race car everywhere during the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Weekend. Jack competed in the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway in 2020 and earned seventh place finishes in both races with a best start of sixth place in Race 2 and ninth in Race 1. He also competed at Iowa Speedway in the 2015 Indy Lights race where he started third and finished fifth. He is looking forward to witnessing first hand how Hy-Vee is “resetting the bar” in race promotion.
“This event is great for so many reasons. I think that when you go spend any time in Iowa or Des Moines you see what Hy-Vee means to the community and to that state. And obviously as a race fan having been to the race track at Iowa Speedway what it means to the racing community. So for Hy-Vee to pull both of those two groups back together frankly is massive. Their commitment to the series, to the track and also to us as a team is just great. I haven’t been a part of anything like this before. I think it nice that you’re going to go to a track and have a proper home race for a sponsor because frankly we wouldn’t be racing there without Hy-Vee. It’s incredible that they brought it back. All the drivers love racing there, all the teams like going there and the fans love it and we all have Hy-Vee to thank.
“They are also creating an event that is beyond just a race and I think that is what is so cool as well with all the concerts — and they aren’t just local talent, they are A-List musicians around the world. And even the other things like the camping options and the grocery store on site. They are resetting the bar frankly in terms of how a sponsor can activate and be a part of the series.
“My experience at the track has always been a positive one. I really enjoyed when we raced there in 2020. We had a pretty strong weekend with two top-10’s and qualifying in the top-10 for both. I’m hoping we can replicate a similar performance to that. I think our test mostly went pretty well. I felt like there was a little bit to be had, a little bit of speed to find compared to Josef (Newgarden) who was fastest on the day. I think it was a good starting point and hope we can just progress our way through. The weekend itself in terms of importance is massive really and it can’t be understated. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it. In terms of our performance on track, we want to get a better performance there but also to Hy-Vee putting a good show is massive as well.
“The races are quite challenging on short ovals – physically and mentally. It’s a different level of concentration. I like the doubleheaders; I think they’re fun. It definitely puts a lot of pressure on the teams though. But in terms of getting this event up and running again, having a doubleheader to really be able to make Saturday an event ad make Sunday an event, for this year is really awesome. You go and prepare as well as you can for Saturday and carry that into Sunday.”
POINTS BATTLE AFTER 10 OF 17 RACES
Heading into Round 11 and 12 of 17 at the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Weekend, Rahal has a total of 210 points and is ranked 13th overall. Lundgaard is 16th with 183 and is the highest-ranked rookie and Harvey is 20th with 125.