Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – September 11, 2022
LUNDGAARD EARNED ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HONORS WITH FIFTH PLACE IN THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY INDYCAR SEASON FINALE; RAHAL AND HARVEY FINISHED 18TH AND 20TH RESPECTIVELY
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Today was frustrating. It was a difficult car to drive today a little bit. On the strategy side, we went to the used reds and it just killed us, killed our race. We were obviously looking good ahead of Christian and then the next thing you know the wheels on the bus completely exploded. I’m frustrated to end our season this way; mightily frustrated. Everyone has worked their tails off this year to just bounce back and to get competitive again so I’m appreciative of all their efforts. We will just put our heads down and work hard this off season. We’re appreciative of all of our sponsors. In a year like this, it’s so tough and demanding and disappointing across the board. To have their support means the world to us. I thought we rebounded well and finished 11th in the points. We expect to be a lot further forward than that but considering the year we had, I’ll take it, we’ll take it on the chin and move on.”
- FAST FACTS: Like Lundgaard, Rahal started on primary tires from 19th place and steadily climbed his way up the field. A pivotal decision came when the team opted to take on used alternate tires on his second stop compared to Lundgaard, who took on primary tires. The two had been running together with Rahal ahead in seventh place initially but the two swapped positions on Lap 57/95 and he fell four positions before the team elected to stop again for primary tires on Lap 61. He ultimately finished 18th, one lap down to the leaders... He finished the 2022 INDYCAR SERIES season in 11th place in the point standings with a total of 345.
CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 30 PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We hoped to get to this point in Portland, but we kept the challenge going into the last race here in Laguna but now it’s done; we’re rookie champions so we achieved it. Now there is another goal to set for next year. It’s been a terribly long year. We were on the back foot at the beginning of the season but as we got to Road America and Mid-Ohio we started to bounce back. We had a podium at the road course at IMS. We were there at Nashville, we were good at Portland, but I struggled here, Laguna Seca, at the test just before Portland. I couldn’t figure it out but showed up for the race weekend and we were better. We had a good Sunday and we needed it. It was a long, tough race. It was all managing your tires and I wanted to be on the opposite strategy at the beginning of the race because I knew I didn’t have the pace to move through the field in the beginning, but we did on the blacks (primary Firestone tires). We moved up quite a bit. I think we were already running ninth from 16th at that point. We just kept progressing from there. It was tough getting the fuel number at the end, but I think Pato was struggling a bit more than I was and I went from seventh to sixth which was good. And then Grosjean was struggling on the reds. I’m just happy. Honestly, it’s pretty rewarding.”
- FAST FACTS: Added his name to a long, illustrious list of race car drivers who won the INDYCAR Rookie of the Year, including 1982 ROY winner Bobby Rahal after driving to a fifth-place finish and increasing his pre-race five-point-lead over David Malukas to a 323-305 season-ending tally. Lundgaard started 16th and steadily moved up the field after starting on primary tires while the majority of the field started on alternates… He moved up one position to finish the season 14th in the series point standings with a total of 323.
JACK HARVEY, 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The car was very challenging to drive which is a sad way to finish the season. It’s going to be a big off season; we have a lot of work to do from now until St. Pete next year. This season obviously hasn’t gone great but it’s not for a lack of effort, so I want to say thank you to everyone at RLL for the effort and always putting their best foot forward. Obviously, we can’t do this without out team partners. And a big thank you to Hy-Vee. I look forward to trying to give them better results next year.”
- FAST FACTS: Harvey started the race 21st and finished 20th. He ended the season ranked 22nd in series point standings with 209 points after missing one of the 17 races (Texas).