Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingGrand Prix of Portland
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – September 2, 2022
RAHAL, HARVEY AND LUNDGAARD FINISHED 8TH, 12TH AND 19TH IN PRACTICE 1 FOR THE GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND
1) Josef Newgarden 58.5769 / 120.703 mph
8) Graham Rahal 58.9896 / 119.858 mph
12) Jack Harvey 59.0656 / 119.704 mph
19) Christian Lundgaard 59.3561 / 119.118 mph
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Quartz Motor Oil Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a solid day for us. I think the Total Quartz Motor Oil car is strong. We started with a similar setup to what we ran last year. We’ve got to tie the little bits together to go quicker now. And around here, a lot of those are going to make a big difference because of how interconnected Turns 1-2-3 are and how Turns 9-10-11 to finish the lap are all interconnected. We need to be a little better there, have a little better rotation but generally I thought our pace was decent so we’ll go to work tonight and hope to find some more.”
- FAST FACTS: It will be the seventh overall race for Graham at PIR and fifth in the headline event. In 2021, he earned his best start of the season at Portland with fifth place. He led two times for a total of 36 laps, which was the most for all drivers but the timing of a caution negated his pit strategy and he finished 10th. After starting fifth, he moved to second place on the opening lap and avoided damage from contact that involved multiple cars. He took over the lead on Lap 29 when leader O’Ward pit for fuel and tires and held it until his first stop on Lap 35/110. He came back on track ahead of O’Ward by staying out longer and undercutting him. He reclaimed the lead on Lap 44 and was 2.6-second ahead of O’Ward. A caution on Lap 51 for Kellett, who stopped in Turn 1 and Ilott, who stopped in Turn 7, came out. This forced the team to adopt the same two-stop strategy that those who were involved in the opening lap contact and topped off were on, so he had to save fuel and ultimately finished 10th. In 2019, he started 15th and misjudged the braking point into the first turn on the opening lap which resulted in a multi-car crash. His race car was placed outside the track and the team could not attempt to repair it and he retired in 23rd place. In 2018, he started 10th and had gotten through Turns 1 and 2, which was expected to be action-packed at the start, and after getting through Turn 2, Veach squeezed Hinchcliffe and the two made contact which set off a multi-car crash that collected Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Rahal, points-leader Dixon and his then teammate Ed Jones. Rahal’s car was too damaged to continue so it was towed back to the paddock and after more than one hour he returned to the track to complete a handful of laps to collect two championship points, which was the maximum possible. This move helped him at season’s end. Prior to that, he competed in the 2007 Champ Car World Series race where he started eighth and finished ninth in his rookie season for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. He started from pole in the Atlantic’s race here in 2006 but was hit by Simon Pagenaud on Lap 1 and finished 27th. In 2005, he earned his first professional win at PIR in the Star Mazda race after starting fourth and winning by a margin of 0.0317 seconds over James Hinchcliffe… Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street)… Rahal is 12th in series point standings with a total of 302, -23 from ninth place Rossi, 325.
CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 30 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It wasn’t the best of sessions for us. We seemed to struggle a bunch with the balance on the blacks (Firestone primary tires) and didn’t manage to compensate enough on the alternates, I think we over did it on the blacks and we just suffered too much on the alternates. It is what it is; that’s what practice is for. I think we learned a bit there so we’ll crack on for practice two on Saturday.”
- FAST FACTS: Will make his first start in Portland… After earning his first podium of second place at the previous road course race – the Gallagher Grand Prix at IMS on July 30 – Lundgaard is optimistic that the final two races of the season being on road courses will enable him to finish his rookie campaign on a high. He started sixth in that race and then went on to finish second before earning his top career qualifying effort of third on the streets of Nashville… He is the highest ranked rookie in 15th place in the point standings with 283, +11 points on David Malukas.
JACK HARVEY, 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Practice started out fine but it was a pretty disruptive session with the TV, of all things, losing the hydraulics or something. We lost a bunch of time in that and it was just a scruffy session for everybody. I think we unloaded with a decent car, it’s not far away. There are just a few imbalances we’ve got to fix and at this track, every tenth (of a second), every half of a tenth is going to be super important. It was a good start nonetheless – one of the better starts we’ve had for a while. There is momentum there, we’ve just got to keep rolling with it and get the Hy-Vee Honda up front.”
- FAST FACTS: This will be Harvey’s fourth INDYCAR race at PIR. In three events, his best start is fourth place in 2019 and best finish is fourth last year after he led two times for a total of five laps. It’s a track he feels he has unfinished business at… He is ranked 22nd with 184 points.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT PORTLAND … Sato brought the team its second win here in 2018 in Indy car racing’s returning to PIR for the first time since the 24th consecutive race was held in 2007. The 2022 race will mark the 16th time for RLL to compete in an Indy car race here. The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races at PIR from 1992-2003 with a best starting position of pole by Bryan Herta in 1998 and Max Papis in 2001 and best finish of first place by Max Papis in 2001 and Sato in 2018. RLL has earned a total of four podium finishes (3rd – B. Rahal 1995, Herta 1998) and has led a total of 150 laps here (1998: Herta, 20; 2001: Papis, 69; 2018: Sato: 25; 2021: G. Rahal 36). In addition, the team competed in the Toyota Atlantic races here in 2003 (Danica Patrick, Jon Fogerty) and 2004 (Patrick and Chris Festa).
NEXT UP: On Saturday, Practice 2 will take place from 12-1 p.m., qualifying will take place from 3:05-4:20 p.m. and the warm-up will be 7:15-7:45 p.m. All times are eastern with live coverage on Peacock Premium. The Grand Prix of Portland will be televised live on NBC beginning at 3 PM ET Sunday, September 4.