Lundgaard & Rahal Finished 9th & 15th in the Music City GP in Nashville; Harvey Was 14th When He Made Contact & Retired in 24th

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Big Machine Music City Grand Prix
NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Round 13 of 17
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – August 6, 2023
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “At the start of the race, I think we had a really bad set of tires and I normally don’t just say that but it’s true. We had a right front tire that had insane graining after only one green lap of running. The right front was locking every single corner. I couldn’t get it to stop so it forced us to have to pit and was super disappointing when you get that because it changed what our initial strategy thoughts were right away. We would’ve liked to have seen those alternate tires go much longer than two laps but in the very, very start it just wouldn’t stop locking and locked almost every corner for two laps and we had to come in and bail out. From there we just ran with the same guys a lot. We passed a couple of cars but didn’t feel that I had a lot to go fight with frankly. The balance was not quite where we needed it to be all weekend. I think it really showed its head in the race particularly on the long runs as the stints went on, we lost more and more competitiveness. It was a disappointing day. I just didn’t feel like I had much to attack with. I felt like I was on my back foot.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal started 15th and once the race went green, he reported an issue with locking up his tires, which ultimately led to an early pit stop and dictated his pit strategy. He ran as high as 13th and finished 15th.  In the inaugural race in 2021, Rahal finished fifth after starting 13th. Last year, he started 9th but ultimately retired from the race in 23rd… 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 maintained a 16th place rank in series point standings with a total of 197.

JACK HARVEY, 45 Kustom Entertainment Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Honestly, I thought it was playing out quite decent. We moved up a decent amount of positions and was catching Graham quite a lot as he was saving fuel in the end. The safety car came out and yeah, I’m still not sure what happened to be honest with you. It felt like the wheel was snatched out of my hands in Turn 8 and I couldn’t grab it in time and that was the end of that. It’s pretty disappointing. An especially disappointing day for what felt like what was going to be a pretty decent race. It was a good recovery from where we started. Just a shame and sorry to all of the guys for not being able to see it through.”  

  • FAST FACTS: He started 22nd and ran as high as fifth as different tire and pit strategies played out but was in 14th place with 10 laps to go when a caution came out for a multi-car crash. The bumpy sirface contributed to the steering wheel snapping out of his hands and he made contact with the wall. He returned to the pit for a new front wing but the left front suspension was too damaged to continue and he retired in 24th place. It was Harvey’s third race here. Last year, he started 11th and took the checkered flag in ninth place but was given a post-race penalty for avoidable contact with Pagenaud and dropped one position. In the inaugural race in 2021, Harvey qualified sixth and finished 15th in an eventful race that saw an eight-car pileup and was later red-flagged and ultimately won by Ericsson, who brought out an early-race caution and had to go to the back of the field. In 2021, he qualified sixth and finished 15th… He is ranked 23rd with 130 points.  

CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s been a long day here in Nashville. We started 13th, which is not the result we wanted but obviously we put ourselves in that position from qualifying yesterday which was delayed. I do think we maximized the potential though today. I don’t think our car was good enough to win. So, I guess we can be happy with a top 10.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Started 13th and ran as high as eighth. The race was red flagged with 10 laps to go due to a multi-car accident that blocked the track and once it was restarted, he dropped to a ninth-place finish. Arrived to Nashville for his second race here as the winner of the previous street race in Toronto on July 16. Last year, he earned his top starting position to date with third place and was passed by Palou on the start to run fourth. He made his first stop from second place on Lap 23 under caution and ran in the top-10 for the next stint as there were some drivers on a different pit stop strategy. When Rahal and Veekay brought out the caution from Laps 52-55, many jumped in the pits and Lundgaard cycled into third place. He ran his best lap of the race on Lap 60 of 80 from third place and took over second when Newgarden had to pit for fuel on Lap 66. He held second through one restart but dropped to third place on Lap 76/80 when McLaughlin passed him. A red flag came out for nearly 12 minutes when Grosjean crashed and on the restart on Lap 78/80, Lundgaard dropped from third to eighth place. He moved one position in the point standings to 9th place with 297.

NEXT UP:  The Gallagher Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will take place next Saturday at IMS