Rahal, Harvey and Lundgaard Head to Texas Motor Speedway for the First Oval Race of the Season — Sunday’s PPG 375

Source: Team PR

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
PPG 375 – Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas
Round 2 of 17 in the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES

DATE:     Saturday- Sunday, April 1-2, 2023
PRACTICE BROADCAST:     Live on Peacock Premium on Saturday from 9 – 10 a.m. and 1:45 – 3:30 p.m. ET.  Also live on the INDYCAR Radio Network (IRN) and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).
QUALIFYING BROADCAST:     Live on Peacock Premium, the IRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis) from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. ET Saturday.
RACE BROADCAST:     Live on NBC Sunday, April 2 beginning at 12 p.m. ET. And also on Peacock Premium,
IRN, and SiriusXM 160, indycar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA.
TRACK LAYOUT:     1.455-mile oval
RACE LENGTH:     250 laps / 375 miles
2022 WINNER(S):     Josef Newgarden
2022 POLESITTER(S):     Felix Rosenqvist (221.110 mph)
RAHAL’S BEST TMS START / FINISH:     3rd in 2012 / 1st in 2016, 4 podiums; will be his 17th race here
RAHAL’S BEST OVAL START / FINISH:     Pole (Kansas 2009) / 1st (Fontana 2015, 500-miles; Texas 2016)
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit (street) 2017 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana (oval; 500 miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas (oval) 2016; Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017, Detroit Race 2 (street) 2017
HARVEY’S BEST START / FINISH IN TEXAS:     5th (2021; Race 2) / 7th (2021; Race 1); will be his fourth race here
HARVEY’S BEST START / FINISH ON AN OVAL:     5th – St. Louis 2 (2020) and Texas 2 (2021) / 7th – Iowa 1, Iowa 2 (2020), Texas 1 (2021)
HARVEY’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     2nd – Indy GP & Road America (2020), St. Pete 2021 / 3rd at the Indy GP (2019)
LUNDGAARD’S BEST START / FINISH IN TEXAS:     25th / 19th (both in 2022; one race here)
LUNDGAARD’S BEST SERIES START / FINISH:     3rd at Nashville & Portland 2022 / 2nd at the July Indy GP 2022
RLL’S TOP START / FINISH AT TMS:     1st by Scott Sharp (20 07) and Takuma Sato (2019) / 1st by Graham Rahal 2016
The 2023 PPG 375 will mark the 22nd event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at the 1.5-mile, high-banked Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) oval. The team’s highest start of pole came in 2019 with Takuma Sato and 2007 with Scott Sharp. The highest finish is Graham Rahal’s win in 2016. The team earned another front row start in 2004 when Buddy Rice qualified second. Overall the team has earned eight top-five finishes and 15 top-10’s at the track, including Santino Ferrucci’s ninth place finish last year while substituting for Jack Harvey, who was not cleared to drive after crashing on Saturday. The team has entered the No. 15 Fleet Cost & Care Honda for Graham Rahal, the No. 30 PeopleReady entry for Jack Harvey and the No. 45 Hy-Vee entry for Christian Lundgaard.
In Graham Rahal’s 16 races here, his best start came in 2012 of third and best finish is his win in 2016 that still stands as the closest finish in TMS history at 0.0080 of a second. In total, he has four podium finishes (1st 2016; 2nd in 2012; 3rd in 2019 & 2021), seven top-five’s and nine top-10s in his 16 races and has finished sixth or better in six of his past eight races here. Last year, Rahal was running 10th in the middle of a three-wide with Castroneves (high side) and rookie DeFrancesco (low) and the latter made contact with Rahal and set off a multi-car crash after 128/248 laps. He felt he had a car that could move further forward and is optimistic of being able to fight for another podium or win here.

“Last year obviously wasn’t the result that we were looking. We had contact with Devlin, which took us out but we happened to be moving forward in a hurry. Last year, qualifying for our whole team did not go well but in the race we were going forward quite quickly, actually until the contact. With Fleet Cost & Care (as primary), we have always had a good run there. I think back to the very beginning of the relationship when we finished on the podium and also having won there in 2016, it’s a special place to me. I know that we can compete, I know that we can be up front and that’s going to be our goal. There is a lot that we’ve learned over the last six months to understand why weren’t fast there last year and we are turning our attention to that and making sure we get better and hopefully get this Fleet Cost & Care car in Victory Lane.”
Of Jack Harvey’s 12 previous oval races in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, three have taken place at Texas Motor Speedway.  His best oval start is fifth place, which he earned at WWT Raceway in 2020 and at TMS in Race 2 in 2021. His best finish on an oval to date is seventh place, which he has accomplished three times (Iowa 1 & 2 in 2020, TMS Race 1 in 2021). He was the highest qualified team car at the race last year in 24th but a crash during the final practice led to him not being cleared to compete. He was off to a good weekend at the season-opener in St. Pete was came around a blind corner and had nowhere to go but into the back of the stopped car of Rinus Veekay. Kyle Kirkwood launched over Harvey, who was taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation before being checked and released. He is looking forward to getting back to Texas and turning the page on recent weeks.

“I’m really excited to drive the No. 30 PeopleReady Honda in Texas. It’s still a track that I have a lot of great memories from even if last year didn’t go how we hoped. Coming into the weekend I’m physically and mentally feeling really good and I’m excited to just get back on track and turn the page from St. Pete and the aftermath of that. It’s going to be a quick weekend, not just in the speed on the track but also in terms of the flow of the weekend. At this point, I’m just excited to get there and take our PeopleReady car to the front as quickly as we can and as far forward as we can.”
Christian’s oval debut was at Texas last year and it was action packed. He qualified 25th and ran in the top-10 in the late stage of the race but ultimately retired after contact with Colton Herta damaged his car and he opted not to risk more. He has learned a lot since that first race and is looking forward to that experience to good use.

“It was my first oval race ever last year at Texas. Going into the race weekend, it was all about getting through the race and getting all the mileage done. It’s not a secret that we didn’t have the best qualifying as a team. We all started quite far back but I think our race car was one of the absolute best on the grid, which is a positive to take from the weekend. We had a lot of fuel issues throughout the race which kind of ruined our race. We had a 25-second stop which put us far back but we drove back into the top-10 and then had a racing incident with Colton (Herta) which was unfortunate and ended our race there but overall we had the pace to finish at least in the top five, starting from the back of the grid. We don’t want to start from the back of the grid this year, but we definitely want to finish in the top five.”
The Texas race will mark the first time for Harvey to compete in the PeopleReady livery that he will run three times in the 2023 season, including the Indy 500 and the season-finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Industrial staffing giant PeopleReady created the PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge as part of a new partnership between with INDYCAR in 2022 and Josef Newgarden claimed the prize after wins at TMS, in Long Beach and Road America. The driver and race team seeing the checkered flag first on all three types of circuits in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES can win $1 million in the 2023 season for themselves and a charity through the program.
Katherine Legge will drive an Indy car for the first time in 10 years when she tests the No. 44 Hendrickson Honda at TMS on Monday, April 3. Linus Lundqvist, who was the 2022 Indy NXT Champion, will test with the team on Monday also.