Lundgaard, Rahal and Harvey to Start 16th, 19th and 21st in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingFirestone Grand Prix of Monterey
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – September 10, 2022


1)      Will Power                   1:11.6127 / 112.505 mph    (Group 2, Round 3)
16)    Christian Lundgaard   1:12.2093 / 111.579 mph   (Group 2, Round 1)  
19)    Graham Rahal             1:12.5970 / 110.980 mph    (Group 1, Round 1)
21)    Jack Harvey                 1:12.8366 / 110.615 mph   (Group 1, Round 1)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We’ve struggled all weekend but I was hoping to muscle it around and find some lap time and just make magic happen somehow. But when you only get one lap on reds (due to the red flag), and can’t get the tire to work to its maximum, this happens. We have struggled this season with that. We’re good in the race but that’s because we don’t use the tire in qualifying and that was the case today. We cannot generate temperature in the tire, cannot get the tire to work and therefore when you have only a one lap flyer in qualifying, we’re toast. We don’t have that card in our deck and it costs us greatly in a messy session like today.”

  • FAST FACTS: The 2022 race will mark the third for Rahal at the trackIn 2021, he started 12th and ran as high as fourth before his first stop on Lap 18/95. The handling of his race car was better halfway through his second stint and he gained a few spots before he made his second stop from third place on Lap 40.  He pit from second place for his third stop on Lap 67 and was able to leapfrog O’Ward by staying out longer. He held third place for 11 laps before Grosjean, whose tires had six less laps on them, passed him on Lap 84/95 and he held on to finish fourth.  In 2019, he started eighth and lost two positions on the start to Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci. He dropped to 11th on Lap 5 when Rosenqvist passed him and cycled as high as fifth place before his second pit stop on Lap 39. He ran 10th for the majority of his next stint before his third and final stop and came out 11th. He later lost a position to Hunter-Reay on Lap 68 of 90 and ultimately took the checkered flag 12th. In 2019, he started eighth and finished 12th…After testing at Laguna Seca on August 29 and setting the fourth fastest lap, he is hoping to continue the momentum from a fifth-place finish last Sunday in Portland and finish the season strong. His highest start of the season is fifth at Portland and his highest finish is third at Texas Motor Speedway… 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)… He is 11th in series point standings with a total of 333.

CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 30 PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Obviously qualifying did not end up how we wanted. We didn’t really want to end the session as early as we did.  We were very strong on the blacks and didn’t quite manage to make the reds work and I think it’s the same across the three cars. We’re struggling to switch them on and make sure we get the peak out of them. I just never felt like I had a peak in the tires. After the session now I feel like it was over before it began. It’s going to be a tough race tomorrow. We’re going to see what we can do and see if we can get a good result.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will make his first start here Lundgaard was having another great race weekend at the previous race in Portland after qualifying fourth, starting third and taking over second place on the start. A couple of issues in the pits and an off-track excursion while eighth dropped him to a 21st place finish but he is determined to end the season on a high and add the knowledge gained over the Portland weekend to the data collected in a test at Laguna on August 29. Although his lead reduced from +11 to +5 on fellow rookie David Malukas, he is focused on having another strong weekend… He is the highest ranked rookie in 15th place in the point standings with 293, +5 points on David Malukas.

JACK HARVEY, 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a weird session really. We had fuel to do four pushing laps so on Lap 1 I had to back off to get a gap to Scott and I didn’t even complete my second lap (before Newgarden brought out the red flag), which at the time if we had would have put us way in to the top six at that point. And then the session doesn’t get going again really. We can talk about bankers (banker laps) all the day, but it is just not a good system because it just completely ruins our weekend really. I think it’s fair to say that the first pushing lap, our tires aren’t ready to go and it’s something we’ve been talking about throughout the season but I feel confident that on Lap 2 we would have been up up there, granted maybe not the fastest in the session but I went into qualifying feeling like we could transfer (to Round 2). The balance has been getting progressively better. It’s pretty disappointing. I know that the session format is the same for everyone but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon. It’s hard to make up the spots in the race because of the way this place races. Ultimately we’re going to have good race pace and have really good stops tomorrow, good in laps, good out laps and good pace. I think having good tire deg is going to make a difference and I think our was actually okay. But it’s hard from where we’re starting.”

  • FAST FACTS: Harvey has raced at Laguna Seca two times. His best start and finish came in 2021 with a 20th place start and 15th place finish… He is ranked 22nd with 184 points. 

NEXT UP:  The warmup will take place tomorrow from 9:00-9:30 a.m. PT. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be televised live on NBC beginning at 3 PM ET Sunday, September 11.