#15: Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingGrand Prix of Portland
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – September 4, 2022


RAHAL FINISHED FIFTH IN THE GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND; LUNDGAARD RAN IN PODIUM CONTENTION BUT FACED A FEW CHALLENGES AND FINISHED 21ST: HARVEY FINISHED 15TH

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Quartz Motor Oil Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a great day here in Portland with a fifth-place finish for the Total Quartz Motor Oil machine. A top-five is like a win for us today. I would have loved to get Pato there at the end and thought we had the pace to do so. I had been setting him up for about 15 laps prior to get it done so to not do it, I’m a little salty. But the guys did a wonderful job in the pits. I’m really proud of everyone at Honda, everyone at RLL for keeping their heads down and getting us here. And really proud to represent United Rentals. We raised a lot more money for Turns for Troops so thank you so much to them for all of their support. The list goes on. For Total, we’ve had good success with this car. We’ve had a fast car here in Portland and hopefully next year we can come back and get a win.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal started 11th and passed Newgarden for 10th on Lap 4. He held the position until the pit cycle started and moved up to the lead by Lap 22 before his first stop on Lap 23. He returned to run eighth and took over seventh when Ericsson was the last driver to pit on Lap 32. He passed Palou on Lap 43 for sixth place and climbed into the lead by Lap 49 on the next pit cycle before making his second stop on Lap 50. Once everything shook out, he was running sixth and claimed fifth when teammate Lundgaard pit on Lap 78. He made his final stop on Lap 79 and ran seventh. He tool over sixth place after a restart from contact between Johnson and Veekay and passed Newgarden again on Lap 91/110 for fifth place. For the final stretch, he attempted to pass O’Ward, whom he closed on to run -0.363 on the second to final lap but was unable to pass him and finished fifth… It was the seventh overall race for Graham at PIR and fifth in the headline event. Rahal moved up from 12th to 11th in series point standings with a total of 333, -27 from 10th place Rosenqvist, 360.

CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 30 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was not the end that we wanted obviously. The start was good with taking second place and the overall pace was good but we will learn from our other challenges and move on.”

  • FAST FACTS: Qualified fourth but started third due to Newgarden, who set the second fastest time, having to serve a six-spot grid penalty. He passed Power on the opening lap and held second place until leader McLaughlin made his first stop on Lap 21/110. He pit from the lead on Lap 22 but the fueler had an issue with slower than usual fuel flow. He made his second stop on Lap 47 and settled into fifth place behind McLaughlin, Power, O’Ward and Newgarden. When he pit from fifth place for his third and final stop on Lap 78, he stalled in his pit and lost a few positions. He was running eighth on Lap 94 when he attempted to pass Rossi and went off course in Turn 2. He collected a foam banner that stuck to the front of his race car and he had to pit to have it removed and returned to the track in 21st place where he ultimately finished.  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 293, His pre-race 11-point lead over Malukas reduced to +5 points heading into the season finale.

JACK HARVEY, 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “That was a fine day for the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda, but only just fine. We’re just lacking a little bit of speed right now and we’re trying to figure out why it’s not quite gelling. I’m not sure what it is but I think we are making progress. Its subtle and not as quick and as much as I would like. The positive part of today is the pit stops were very good, so I have to say thanks to the guys on pit lane for that. Obviously, it’s getting towards the business end of the championship now and I just want to go to Laguna Seca and try and get the best finish we can and hopefully have our best finish of the year. Frankly we haven’t had enough of those good results this year, but we’ll work on it and try to finish as well as we can that weekend.”

  • FAST FACTS: Harvey started 17th and took over 16th on the first lap. He made his first stop on Lap 13 but got caught behind a pack of slower cars and didn’t have the pace to overtake them. That continued and he ultimately finished 15th. This was 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 199 points.  

NEXT UP: The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey NTT INDYCAR SERIES season finale will take place next Sunday, September 11 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.