Rahal, Lundgaard and Harvey Head to the Final Oval Race of the Season — the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Bommarito Automotive Group 500 – World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, Illinois
Pre-Race Notes
Round 15 of 17 in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIESDATE:     
August 19-20, 2022

PRACTICE BROADCAST:     Live on Peacock Premium on Friday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET and 7:00 – 8:45 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 from 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. ET Friday.

RACE BROADCAST:     Live on USA Network on Saturday, August 20 from 6 – 9 p.m. ET. And on Peacock
Premium, IRN, Sirius 211 and XM 205

TRACK LAYOUT:     1.25-mile oval
RACE LENGTH:     260 laps / 325 miles

2021 WINNER:     Josef Newgarden
2021 POLESITTER:     Will Power (180.618 mph)

RAHAL’S BEST WWTR START / FINISH:     7th / 10th – both in 2018; will be his 7th race 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 WWTR:     First event                                          
LUNDGAARD’S BEST SERIES START / FINISH:     3rd – Nashville 2022 / 2nd at the July Indy GP 2022

HARVEY’S BEST START / FINISH AT WWTR:     5th in 2020 (Race 2); 4th event
HARVEY’S BEST SERIES START / FINISH:     2nd – Indy GP & Road America (2020), St. Pete 2021 / 3rd at the Indy GP (2019)

RLL’S BEST START / FINISH AT WWTR:     1st in 2020 (Race 2) by Takuma Sato / 1st in 2019 by Takuma Sato – 11 races (1997- 2000, 2003, 2017-2019, 2 in 2020, 2021)


The team returns to the 2022 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 in search of another pole and win in their 12th event at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR). In Race 1 in 2020, Sato was 0.14-seconds from becoming the first driver in almost two decades to earn back-to-back wins after winning the Indy 500 and finished second. The 1.25-mile oval hosted CART-sanctioned races from 1997-2000 and IRL races from 2001-2003 before the IndyCar Series returned in 2017. The team competed in all four CART races from 1997-2000 and one of the three IRL races (2003).  The best starting position for the team came last year in Race 2 when Takuma Sato started from pole and the best finish came in 2019 when Takuma Sato won.  Prior to 2022, the team prepared a total of 20 Indy car entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1997-1998), Bryan Herta (1997-1999), Max Papis (1999-2000), Kenny Brack (2000, 2003), Graham Rahal (2017-2020, x2, 2021) and Takuma Sato (2018-2020, x2).  The No. 15 iPacket entry for Graham Rahal, the No. 30 Mi-Jack entry for Christian Lundgaard and the No. 45 Hy-Vee entry for Jack Harvey will bring that total to 23 in 2022.  

The 2022 race will be Rahal’s seventh race at the track. His highest start is seventh place and highest finish is 10th – both in 2018. In 2022, he was looking forward to the race after the having a strong performance on long runs in the practice session where he ended fourth fastest. He qualified ninth and made a conservative start and dropped back to 12th. Ed Jones appeared to lose traction in the rear of his car and slid up into Rahal in Turn 1 and the two collided. Jones stopped on track and Rahal was able to continue to the pits but had substantial damage. The team tried to repair the car, first behind pit lane and then later in the garage area but had to retire from the event. The field will take the Green Flag at 5:30 p.m. CT this year vs. 7:45 p.m. CT last year.
            “Obviously last year was really disappointing with what happened but we did start well and I hope that that package can carry over. We shouldn’t have too many issues from the get go. The green flag being earlier I think will make the race slightly more challenging just simply because it’s always a little hotter at the time of day. At the end of the day though, I also feel like it’s a great thing for the race and for the fans to be able to have an earlier race to be able to get back home. All in all, I think it’s a pretty smart move on INDYCAR’s behalf. The Bommarito 500 is always tight racing, always a really hard race and always very intense for the drivers. To follow closely is edge-of-your-seat type of stuff there with no margin for error. It’s a very intense place to go and race but somewhere I love and a challenge for all of us. I think they do such a great job promoting it and its pretty awesome. I feel that we should be very strong there. I feel like we’ve got a car that is very similar to what we ran last year and we will start (the event) basically the same. We were competitive and started in the top-10 last year and I hope that can carry over to this year.”

Christian participated in a rookie test at WWTR last Thursday, August 11 and was thankful for the additional track time to work on areas that can help the team in the future. His best oval finish is 10th place in Race 1 of the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Weekend doubleheader and he’s looking forward to building on the knowledge gained in his first season of oval racing.
            “I’m looking forward to the last oval of the year. The test went well. I don’t think we were the most competitive car of those there, but I do think that the test was good for us in terms of identifying small bits and pieces that will be useful for us in the future so I’m excited about that. I’m looking forward to seeing if we can get a good result at Gateway. I think we have been competitive at street circuits by the end of the season, we have been competitive at road course by the end of the season. Now we’re at the last oval and let’s see if we can finish it off well. We were quite competitive in Iowa so I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t have a good package this weekend.”

Jack will make his fourth INDYCAR SERIES start at WWTR. He has one top-5 start of fifth in Race 2 in 2020 and two top-10 starts with a seventh place in Race 1 in 2020. His best finish to date is 10th place in 2021 and he also has an 11th (2020 Race 1) and 13th place (2020 Race 2) finish. He is looking forward to the final oval race of the season.
            “I like going to World Wide Technology Raceway. It’s always a really fun track. It’s probably the most ‘road course/oval’ that we go to with there being a little bit of a break in Turn 1 and a few downshifts. I think Christian’s test was pretty productive last week so hopefully we learned some things from that, that we can take forward into the race weekend. As for my personal performances, qualifying hasn’t been too bad in Gateway. Results wise, it has always been pretty decent but I’m obviously looking to try to build on some of the momentum that we created in Nashville and try and improve our best result of the year, which was obviously at the last race in Nashville. We’ll try to have another good one at Gateway and finish the season in as strong of a way as we can. I think this weekend is a good opportunity to keep the momentum going and just build on that.”

Heading into Round 15 of 17, Rahal has a total of 281 points and is ranked 13th overall. Lundgaard is 15th with 272 and is the highest-ranked rookie and Harvey is 21st with 178.