The Field is Set for Sunday’s Return of the Detroit Grand Prix to Downtown Detroit

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingChevrolet Detroit Grand Prix – Streets of Downtown Detroit


1)           Alex Palou                      1:01.8592 / 95.734 mph               (Group 1, Round 3)
18)        Christian Lundgaard     1:02.6495 / 94.526 mph               (Group 2, Round 1)
25)        Jack Harvey                    1:03.7728 / 92.861 mph               (Group 1, Round 1)
27)        Graham Rahal                1:03.8663 / 92.725 mph               (Group 2, Round 1)      

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We went out on blacks (primary Firestone tires) and couldn’t get them to work. We’re having issues with them but thought if we ran four laps, we would be able to get them to work for us. However, they just never came up to temp at all. We switched to alternate tires and the first lap on them was feeling good, but we caught traffic like most guys did and then the second lap, I hit the wall. From what I could see pace wise, we would have maybe been a couple of spots better but not enough to really move up much. You look across the board, Christian ran red/red (alternate/alternate) and you would think red/red would be a good recipe to advance and he didn’t have the pace. Although we want to be up much further, if you don’t make the Fast Six, we might be in the best spot you could be given what could happen in the race. The strategy is open. What do you want to do? How many stops do you want to make and how many tires do you want to use? We can basically do anything from where we’re starting from and that’s exactly what we will have to do. We’re going to have to pass some cars, be good on our tire degradation, have good pit stops, have to stay out of trouble and I can’t make mistakes. If we do all those things, we’ll be okay. The pit lane is different than ever before and tight but I think it will be just fine.” 

  • FAST FACTS: The event will mark Rahal’s 19th race in Detroit. His father, Bobby, won the inaugural race on Belle Isle in 1992 and Graham hopes to repeat the feat on the new downtown track. In 2022 on Belle Isle, Graham’s race came to an early end after he bottomed out in Turn 2, lost traction and hit the wall on Lap 2 and retired from the race. In 2021, he finished fifth in both races here. In 2019, he earned two seventh place finishes. Rahal’s most successful race weekend came in Detroit in 2017 where he won Dual 1 from pole and won Dual 2 from a third place start. His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015.  Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 15 races here…  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) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… He is ranked 17th in series standings with 94 points.

JACK HARVEY, 30 Kustom Entertainment Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The name of our day is to just have a clean race. I would love for the guys to be able to wheel the car home in one piece, to not make the mechanics lives any harder. At the end of the day, hopefully we just get through the melee and carnage, of which I’m sure there will be some. Obviously, I would love for our No. 30 Kustom Entertainment car to be a part of none of it. The thing about races like this, the attrition can be high so I think as long as we drive a smart day, I think we can walk out of this thing with a decent result. We have to ask a lot of the guys on pit lane to keep trying to give us good stops. I was really proud of what they did at Indy, all the stops were great. I feel like we’re leaning on them a lot because that’s something that’s within our control and we’ve got to keep pushing on. I think the outlook for the race is to just have a smart day. Maximum survival instincts to try to avoid all the stuff that happens. I think the warmup will be a big indicator on how this pit lane will work. You get to the blend line and if you’re just a little bit ahead of someone, you have the right of way but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to lift. In the same breath if I was there, you can’t just magically not be there. We’ve got to have a sensible day in every facet of the race from starts, restarts to no contact in pit lane. I do think that the split pit lane is what makes this track interesting so I don’t want to go too harsh on the initial feedback because every new track is a learning experience. In terms of a fan experience, t seems that everyone is loving it.”

  • FAST FACTS: This will mark Jack’s fourth race in Detroit and he is optimistic of a competitive performance after qualifying fourth at the previous road course race at IMS this year. In 2022, he finished 15th on Belle Isle with RLL. He competed in the 2021 INDYCAR doubleheader for Meyer Shank Racing where he started 19th, ran as high as ninth and finished 16th after five stops to the winner’s two due to a puncture and alternate strategy. He started 18th in Race 2 and finished 19th. Two races ago at IMS, he made his first Firestone Fast Six appearance with the team and qualified fourth, ran as high as third but had some issues in the race and finished 20th. His highest series finish is third place at the IMS road course in 2019. He is ranked 22nd with 65 points.  

CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I think I hit the same wall at the same point (as his out lap in Practice 2). This morning was unfortunate because I didn’t even know I hit it until the car was pulling to the left. The tire is punctured, which sucks because all three cars are out in Round 1. You’re out there pushing as hard as you can to try to extract a time out of the car. I feel sorry for the whole crew, but the Hy-Vee crew in particular. (On using back-to-back reds in Round 1:) We don’t seem to have the pace on the blacks and we’re seeing some of the guys running the same pace on the primary tires as we are on the (faster) alternates. We need to investigate and understand why that is happening.”

  • FAST FACTS: Christian will make his second start in Detroit. Last year, he had worked his way up to 9th place from a 19th place start but had to pit earlier than planned to clear debris that was blocking airflow from his overheating car. The team had hoped to stay on the more durable primary tires longer in order to gain more positions but he had to compete his mandatory stint on the alternate tires on the next one before returning to the preferred primary tires for the final one and finished 14th. After starting from pole at the previous road course race at Indianapolis and finishing fourth, he is looking forward to returning to a street course to continue the trajectory that saw him finish sixth on the road course in Barber and fourth at the GMR Grand Prix…. He is the ranked 11th in the point standings with 122.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT: The 2023 event will mark the 23rd year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete in Detroit after 22 years of competition at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. It is the team’s 31st race here.  The team’s highest start of pole came in 2017 with Graham Rahal earning his first pole since 2009 in Race 1Bobby and Graham Rahal have earned a combined total of three wins for the team here. Bobby won the inaugural race on Belle Isle in 1992 and Graham is the only driver to have won both races on the same weekend, which he did in 2017. In total, the team has earned eight podiums (2nd – G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000), (3rd – G. Rahal 2015, Takuma Sato 2019) 12 top-five finishes and 24 top-10’s here (chart available).

NEXT UP:  The warmup will take place tomorrow from 10:00-10:30 a.m. ET and will be broadcast live on Peacock Premium and also on the INDYCAR Radio Network and (timing & scoring + live analysis). The Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit will be televised live on NBC beginning at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, June 4.