Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
PPG 375 – Texas Motor Speedway
Round 2 of 17 in the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES / QUOTES – Sunday, April 2, 2023
HARVEY AND LUNDGAARD FINISHED 18TH AND 19TH RESPECTIVELY IN THE PPG 375 AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY; RAHAL WAS 18TH WHEN DEFRANCESCO LOST CONTROL OF HIS CAR AND DROVE INTO HIS PATH CAUSING BOTH TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE WALL
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fleet Cost & Care Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was frustrating because we stopped early on the first stop and it went yellow and that was our race. Actually, at the end there we were pretty competitive, I think, with a lot of guys. We weren’t as fast as Josef or Pato (O’Ward) and those guys, but we were competitive enough with Ericsson and guys that are easily running in the Top 10. But, unfortunately, our car setup was so bad the first two stints that it just took way too long for us to adjust and have the car come to us. I’m just upset to come out of here this way. Derek (Davidson, strategist) had just finished on the radio saying “get out of here in one piece” and that was the objective. Then you have a guy slide right up the track in front of you. There’s nothing I could do. I had a guy to my inside. What do I do? So, I’m really frustrated.”
- FAST FACTS: He was running 18th when DeFrancesco came up the track in his path and Rahal had nowhere to go but into him, which sent both into the wall on Lap 223/250. In Graham Rahal’s 17 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 17 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 dropped from a sixth-place rank in series point standings to 13th with 34.
JACK HARVEY, No. 45 PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The No. 30 PeopleReady car is rolling back into the trailer with four wheels on it and that is about as much as we could’ve hoped for today unfortunately. I was glad to see Graham (Rahal) get out of the car. I hate the luck that he has in Texas. It’s two times in a row him just being an innocent bystander in an accident. That sucks for him and the No. 15 car. It’s been great having Fleet Cost & Care here this weekend so it’s a disappointing result for them. What else can you say? We’ve got a lot of work to do before the Indy 500.”
- FAST FACTS: Harvey started 28th and finished 18th in the PPG 375 in his fourth start at TMS. 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 missed the race last year after a crash in the final practice… He is ranked 22nd in series point standings with 20.
CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 45 Hy-Vee / RedBox RX Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I think we should be glad that we at least got two cars home. What happened to Graham (Rahal) wasn’t his fault. I think he was on a good run there so it’s unfortunate. We were struggling way too much. The car was all over the place and just lacking grip in general. You don’t know what the balance really is until it’s too late.”
- FAST FACTS: He started 27th and finished 19th… His 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 is ranked 14th in series point standings with 33.
NEXT UP: The team will test with Katherine Legge and Linus Lundqvist at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday. Round 3 of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will take place on April 16 at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.