Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingGrand Prix of Portland
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – September 3, 2022
LUNDGAARD, RAHAL AND HARVEY QUALIFIED FOURTH, 11TH AND 17TH FOR THE GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND
1) Scott McLaughlin 58.2349 / 121.412 mph (Group 2, Round 3)
4) Christian Lundgaard 58.4482 / 120.969 mph (Group 2, Round 3) *will start 3rd
11) Graham Rahal 58.4475 / 120.970 mph (Group 1, Round 2)
17) Jack Harvey 58.5332 / 120.793 mph (Group 1, Round 1)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Quartz Engine Oil Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We were P11 in qualifying and its pretty frustrating to be honest. We’ve been fighting a little bit of imbalance and it just kind of showed its head there. In Turn 7, I was terrible all qualifying. I could not get the car to turn. I don’t think I hit an apex once in Turn 7 the whole time. On the last run, I was up a little bit, which would have been enough to make the top-six and just got into Turn 7 and the car went dead straight. Unfortunately, I think the changes we made for qualifying just tipped it over. We were able to squeak through in Round 1 but in Round 2, it all kind of caught up with us. I’m frustrated for sure. I expect a lot better around here than what we just had but we’ll go back to our conventional car that we ran here last year and just go race from here and try to get the Quartz Motor Oil car up front.”
- 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: “We qualified fourth but will start third since Josef (Newgarden) got a grid penalty. We‘re in a pretty good place. It’s good to be the best of the rest, I would say. The Penske cars have been strong all weekend; they’ve been setting the pace for sure. Being up there in the mix is good. I was looking at a 58.2 at the end there but ran wide at the exit of Turn 7 onto the back straight and kind of dipped the left side tires into the dirt and bottomed out so I lost some time there. I think the pace is the car but I didn’t quite execute. But still P3 on the grid is not a bad thing at all. We’ll go for it tomorrow.”
- FAST FACTS: Will make his first start in Portland from third place. Newgarden, who set the second fastest time will serve a six-spot grid penalty and Lundgaard will move up a position.… 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: “It was close to transferring (to Round 2) and I’ve said it all weekend. All the little things add up in Portland and I think we just missed transferring by about a tenth but it was also three positions in between us there so that was disappointing. We just didn’t quite have the speed I guess. One thing we’re ooking at now is going to Christian and the 30 car’s setup because clearly that was competitive. We’re going to try to have a good warmup and have a good race.”
- FAST FACTS: This will be Harvey’s fourth INDYCAR race at PIR. In his three previous 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: The Grand Prix of Portland will be televised live on NBC beginning at 3 PM ET Sunday, September 4. All times are eastern with live coverage also on Peacock Premium.