Final Practice for the Indy 500 Enabled Teams to Work on Race Setups; Carb Day Practice is Up Next on Friday

Source: Team PR

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
108th Running of the Indianapolis 500


1)           Josef Newgarden             226.238 mph                     
11)         Graham Rahal                   225.180 mph                                   
17)         Takuma Sato                     224.567 mph                                    
20)         Christian Lundgaard        224.159 mph                     
26)         Pietro Fittipaldi                 223.474 mph                     

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We were able to get two hours of running in today and the No. 15 United Rentals Honda felt good. By the way, it was a great crowd here for a Monday and for being how hot it is. I thought we made great gains, particularly at the end of the session when the track was at it’s hottest, we seemed to come to life which is a great sign. We will go back and dissect everything a little further with the engineers and hope to be finding some more things that will improve the race cars. But, I felt like we had some really good momentum there at the end and we’ve got one day of practice left then we go race. Marcus (Ericcson) and I both look strong and we’re row 11 so we’ll see how it goes to move forward.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Was bumped in qualifying for the 2023 Indy 500 by then-teammate Harvey but competed in the race as a replacement for the injured Stefan Wilson and finished 22nd after mechanical issues on the starting grid. Will be his 17th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and RLL in 2020. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request… 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 FIVE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street; 2023 – IMS road, Portland) and his highest s always want to be the best but series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… He is 12th in INDYCAR SERIES point standings with 71.

PIETRO FITTIPALDI, No. 30 5-hour ENERGY Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We are struggling in traffic, so we definitely need to improve in that area. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m going to be here analyzing video over the next few days to see where I can improve and the engineers are going to look at data and see what we can come up with for Carb Day. I will see where I can improve working through some things with the engineers and just get ready for that last practice.” 

  • FAST FACTS: This will be his second Indy 500 race. Prior to the 2024 season, he had made nine series starts combined in 2018 (3 ovals, 3 road) and 2021 (3 ovals). In 2021, his best qualifying effort came in his Indianapolis 500 debut of 13th place, which earned him the “Fastest Rookie Award” and his best finish was 15th in Race 2 at Texas Motor Speedway.  He is ranked 22nd in the point standings with 45.

CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Basically, up until now we have primarily been focusing on the qualifying car and now you are kind of moving into the race car setup. I think the car is okay, we don’t have the best car that’s for sure, but we are working on it. We have another practice day on Carb Day, which is Friday before the race so there’s a little bit more that we can find, but we need some luck on race day. We are moving forward though. I felt comfortable in the car; I think the balance is there, we just aren’t really quick enough. But yeah, we will have a fun Sunday and the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda guys will make it happen in pitlane.”

  • FAST FACTS: This will be Lundgaard’s third Indy 500. In 2023, he qualified 30th and finished 19th. He started 31st and finished 18th in 2022 while becoming the first Dane driver in the race… in 2022… He is ranked in 9th place in the point standings with 84.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 75 AMADA Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Unfortunately this was my first day to run in traffic, surprisingly. Because obviously we concentrated on the qualifying performance last week. First time I’m in traffic and the cars obviously feel quite a bit different in traffic than in clean air. I need to get used to that and some of the parameters really needed adjusted for the first few runs and that lost time for us, more than half an hour. It’s just a very short time to accomplish so much. We didn’t get through what we wanted to do. There were three major items we wanted to check and we couldn’t do that. It was a little bit of a challenging session but at least we gathered key data, I hope. We will see over the next few days and come back on Carb Day hopefully strong. The engineers will go through all the data of what we’ve run over the past few days — particularly today’s traffic runs — and then we need lots of discussion of what the data tells us.”

  • FAST FACTS: The two-time Indy 500 champion will start his 15th Indy 500 and sixth with the team from 10th place. He competed for RLL fulltime in 2012 and from 2018-2021 and won the Indy 500 with RLL in 2020. He has earned six NTT INDYCAR SERIES wins, four of which have come with RLL, including the team’s second Indy 500 win in 2020. Most recently, Sato competed in oval races with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2023. Other Indy 500 highlights with RLL include the 2012 where he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. He also finished third for RLL in 2019 and was a contender in the final laps… Has SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 500 ) and 10 poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2). 

NEXT UP: Carb Day practice will take place from 11-1 p.m. ET on Friday, May 24. Peacock will stream the session. The 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Sunday, May 26. NBC will begin coverage at 11 a.m. ET.