Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingPre-Race Notes
Gallagher Grand Prix – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Round 13 of 17 in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES
DATE: Friday – Saturday, July 29-30, 2022
PRACTICE BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium on Friday from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. and Saturday from 8:15 –8:45 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 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. ET Friday.
RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBC on Saturday, July 30 from 12 – 3 p.m. ET. And also on Peacock Premium, IRN and Sirius XM 160.
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course
RACE LENGTH: 85 laps / 207.35 miles
2022 MAY WINNER: Colton Herta (May 14)
2022 MAY POLESITTER: Will Power (1:09.7664 / 125.854 mph; May 13)
RLL TOP START / FINISH AT IMS (ROAD): 4th by Rahal in 2020 / 2nd by Rahal in 2015 and 2020; 12 events
RAHAL’S BEST START / FINISH AT IMS (ROAD): 4th in 2020 / 2nd in 2015 and 2020; 12 events
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 3 poles – Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017 / 6 wins – 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana & Mid-Ohio 2015, Texas 2016, Detroit Race 1 & Race 2 2017
LUNDGAARD’S BEST START / FINISH AT IMS (ROAD): 4th in Aug. 2021 / 9th in 2022; 2 events
LUNDGAARD’S BEST SERIES START / FINISH: 4th at his debut at IMS road course / 8th at Toronto 2022
HARVEY’S BEST START / FINISH AT IMS (ROAD): 2nd in July 2020 / 3rd in 2019; 7 events
HARVEY’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 2nd – Indy GP & Road America (2020), St. Pete 2021 / 3rd at the Indy GP (2019)
NEWS & NOTES:
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING & THE IMS ROAD COURSE
The Gallagher Grand Prix will mark the team’s 13th NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on the 2.439-mile road course. The team’s highest finish is second by Graham Rahal in 2015 and 2020 and he also brought RLL their highest start of fourth in July 2020. In addition to Rahal (2014-2021), other drivers that have competed for the team here include Takuma Sato (2018-2021), Spencer Pigot (2016, 2020), Oriol Servia (2014), Jack Harvey (2022 May) and Christian Lundgaard (2021, 2022). RLL has entered the No. 15 One Cure Honda for Graham Rahal, the No. 30 Shield Cleansers Honda for Christian Lundgaard and the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda for Jack Harvey.
RAHAL AND THE INDY ROAD COURSE
Rahal will make his 13th INDYCAR start on the road course at IMS. After a second-place finish in 2015 and 2020, Graham hopes to get back in podium contention here. He finished fifth and seventh on the road course in May and August 2021 and battled ever-changing weather conditions here earlier this year after starting 12th and running as high as sixth. Slick racing conditions and zero visibility led to him hitting Kirkwood and drawing a penalty before he ultimately finished 16th in the timed race. He is planning to get back to podium contention this weekend.
“I felt that at the GMR Grand Prix in May, that we had found some gains. Obviously in the race, it was a total nightmare because we suffered from major visibility issues. That put us behind the eight ball. But this time around I feel like we’ve got even more to learn from, some ideas and concepts that have come from testing, have come from Toronto as well as things that we noticed a Mid-Ohio. So, on the 15 One Cure car, we are going to start with a completely separate setup, completely new from what we’ve done before and from our teammates. And ultimately if it doesn’t work in that first practice, we’ll just jump back for qualifying to where everybody else is at and go from there. We’re trying to learn as best we can.
“Expectations are always high. We believe as a team, and I believe as a driver, that we should be up front. We have always had pretty good success at the Indy Grand Prix so hopefully we can carry that forward. We could definitely use a good shot in the arm, particularly after falling short in that second race in Iowa.”
LUNDGAARD – ONE YEAR AFTER HIS INDYCAR SERIES DEBUT
Christian Lundgaard made his INDYCAR debut with the team at last year’s Big Machine Records Spiked Coolers GP at IMS and earned a career best 4th place start and finished 12th. At the GMR Grand Prix in May, he started eighth and finished ninth. Intermittent rain and low visibility limited the possible performance and led to contact with fellow rookie Illot after the checkered flag but fortunately both drivers were okay. He is looking forward to more performance gains at IMS this weekend.
“I’ve got memories from this one. As many people know, this is the race that I did last year for my series debut. We qualified well but didn’t race as well as we probably should have. I didn’t have any experience at that point but now I know how much I’ve got to work with. Obviously coming into this event, the first time this year, we performed relatively well. I think it was one of our strongest events, especially at that point. Which obviously leaves us with a good baseline for this race. We’ve had some good outings since. I think the team has moved in the right directions throughout the year. But coming home to the GP, I’m very familiar with the event so, expectation wise, I think we can expect a good result as a team. I think all three drivers will be strong here this weekend. What’s most important is that we leave the pressure behind and focus and deal with our own challenges and move on and work around our issues. I’m absolutely excited for this one. It’s good to be home for a race during this stretch. Let’s see what we’ve got!”
JACK HARVEY RETURNS TO THE SITE OF HIS HIGHEST SERIES START AND FINISH
The Gallagher Grand Prix will mark his eighth INDYCAR Series race on the road course and 12th overall including four Indy Lights races from 2014-2015. His highest 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 has three top-three series starts on the IMS road course, which is a personal best of any track on the schedule. In Indy Lights, he competed in four races on the IMS road course and has two poles and two wins, three top-three starts, and three top-two finishes. Last year in the two IMS road races, he started third and finished 23rd in May and started seventh and finished sixth in August. Earlier this year at the GMR Grand Prix at IMS, Harvey ran as high as third place in one of the craziest races in recent INDYCAR history but a penalty for making contact with Ericsson after leaving his pit box relegated him to the back of the field. He had been running seventh prior to his stop but some ahead were expected to pit soon for rain tires, so a podium was still in his sights. Once he went to the back of the field in 20th place, he climbed up to 13th before the race ended after 75 of the 85 laps due to a time limit after starting ninth. He is looking forward to getting another opportunity to get his second podium at IMS after being in podium contention in the wet race in May.
“I’m looking forward to being back at the Grand Prix. It’s a track I’ve always gone well at. Obviously, that’s never a guarantee things are going to go well but I’m optimistic. I said it last week, and I still feel it now. We are starting to show some promise as the season goes on. The Indy GP from a speed perspective, is a highlight of the season. I think we were pushing to have a podium in the (May) race. Things obviously didn’t work out that day but I’m excited for what we can achieve this weekend and ultimately you just want to start getting some good results, frankly and this is a nice weekend for that to happen. The next best time to have a great race is the one coming up. Our qualifying experience was decent in May and the car was a bit better in the warmup and that’s the car we’re going to take with us this weekend. We’re going to go out and give it 110 percent and see if can get a good result.”
POINTS BATTLE AFTER 12 OF 17 RACES
Heading into Round 13 of 17, Rahal has a total of 248 points and is ranked 13th overall. Lundgaard is 16th with 208 and is the highest-ranked rookie and Harvey is 22nd with 148.