Source: Team PR
Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingBig Machine Music City Grand Prix – Streets of Nashville
Round 14 of 17 in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES
DATE: August 5-7, 2022
PRACTICE BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium on Friday from 4:15 – 5:30 p.m. ET and on Saturday from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. and Sunday from 10:15 – 10:45 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 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. ET Saturday.
RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBC Sunday, August 7 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET. And also on Peacock Premium, IRN, Sirius 211 and XM 205
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.15-mile road course
RACE LENGTH: 80 laps / 205.62 miles
2021 WINNER: Markus Ericsson
2021 POLESITTER: Colton Herta
RAHAL’S BEST START / FINISH AT NASHVILLE: 13th / 5th – both in 2021; 1 event
RAHAL’S BEST 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 NASHVILLE: First event
LUNDGAARD’S BEST SERIES START / FINISH: 4th – debut at IMS road course 2021 / 2nd at the July Indy GP 2022
HARVEY’S BEST START / FINISH AT NASHVILLE: 6th / 15th – both in 2021; 1 event
HARVEY’S BEST SERIES START / FINISH: 2nd – Indy GP & Road America (2020), St. Pete 2021 / 3rd at the Indy GP (2019)
NEWS & NOTES:
MUSIC CITY GRAND PRIX OF NASHVILLE AND RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING
The 2022 Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will mark the second race for the series on the streets of downtown Nashville. The series previously conducted eight races on the 1.33-mile Nashville Super Speedway oval from 2001-2008.The team’s highest start there was pole in 2004 by Buddy Rice and highest finish was fourth with Danica Patrick. The team will enter the No. 15 United Rentals Honda for Graham Rahal, the No. 30 Shield Cleansers entry for Christian Lundgaard and the No. 45 Hy-Vee entry for Jack Harvey.
GRAHAM AT NASHVILLE
In the inaugural race in 2021, Rahal started 13th and finished fifth. He is excited to return for the second race on the streets of Nashville.
“Our competitiveness has continued to improve as of late. Toronto was a step forward for us on the street race side of things. And clearly, we expect to continue down that path in Nashville. We believe that the race car from Toronto will give us a lot to learn from and to improve with in Nashville so we’ll see what we come up with this coming weekend. Setup wise, I think we’ve got a really good idea of what we’ll need. We’ll try to make it as good as possible and see if we can qualifying and run up front.
“I thought the Nashville event was great last year; the off-track build up was amazing. Scott Borchetta and his team did one hell of a job and I expect the same for this year. I enjoyed the track. Sure, there were a couple of sections that were quite rough and tight and things like that, but it was the first year of a street race and those things are going to happen. I thought everybody put such a good foot forward that we should just applaud them for that. As far as track changes, I think Turn 8 is a little bit narrower this year and I think they narrowed the back straight up a little bit for fan viewing but I don’t think there were a lot of large changes. I think the Start/Finish line is on the back straightaway this year which will help as well. I’m looking forward to getting back there and putting on a good show.”
CHRISTIAN PLANS TO CARRY HIS MOMENTUM TO NASHVILLE
Lundgaard is fresh off his first podium finish of the season with second place at the Gallagher Grand Prix at IMS last Saturday. Since the Nashville race is only in his second year, he feels that levels the playing field a bit to the veterans in the series and is excited to see if the team’s competitiveness on the streets of Toronto will carry over to Nashville. “After a good performance gain in the Toronto street event, obviously I’m looking forward to Nashville. We seemed to have found something in the car that works better so for me its important that we do that again. That we keep continuing our performance increase. Our test at Sebring for sure increased it. We’ve just got to keep digging and keep doing what we’re doing.
“I watched part of the Nashville event last year, some of it anyway until I fell asleep. I had flown to the States for the Indy GP, which was the weekend after Nashville. I saw the incident between Markus and (Sebastien) Bourdais and fell asleep 20 minutes later and woke up to the news that Markus had won the race. It just proves that absolutely anything can happen in INDYCAR and it’s a series I love to be in. Coming there (Nashville) this year, it’s good that it’s only been a one race event so it kind of reduces the advantage that the experienced drivers have.”
JACK AND THE MUSIC CITY GP
In the inaugural race here in 2021, Harvey qualified sixth and finished 15th in an eventful race that saw an eight-car pileup and was later red-flagged and ultimately won by Ericsson, who brought out an early-race caution and had to go to the back of the field. After recent performance gains, Harvey is looking forward to the final street race of the season.
“The general base of the cars have been getting better and better every weekend. We haven’t quite been on the same trajectory path as my two teammates and we’re spending time obviously trying to figure out exactly why. Nashville was a great inaugural race. Its an awesome city. It was my first time being there in the city and I absolutely loved it. I had a good time on the track; we qualified sixth so I’m just trying to take the confidence into the race knowing that I’ve been there before and been fast. Hopefully we can replicate those performances but even better this coming weekend and get Hy-Vee a good result.
“I think clearly the Sebring test was productive for us. We just need to keep shimmying it along here if we can and just try to get a good result. That’s the only thing we are lacking. There are a lot of pieces of the jigsaw puzzle floating around, not a million miles away, but the series is so competitive right now so anything less than being nearly perfect just isn’t good enough. There is work to do on our side, work to do on my side and together with the team, we will figure it out.”
POINTS BATTLE AFTER 13 OF 17 RACES
Heading into Round 14 of 17, Rahal has a total of 274 points and is ranked 12th overall. Lundgaard is 15th with 248 and is the highest-ranked rookie and Harvey is 22nd with 158.
“I still think that we can get into the top eight or nine in points,” said Rahal. “That’s what I’m focused on and hopefully I can make it happen.
“I’m still not looking to much at the rookie championship,” added Lundgaard about winning Rookie of the Year honors. “Obviously the Indy weekend was good and we extended the lead. We’ve still got four races to go so we’ve just got to do our best and then we’ll see who makes it out on top.”