Final Carb Day Prep is Complete; The 108th Running of the Indy 500 is Sunday

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
108th Running of the Indianapolis 500
CARB DAY NOTES / QUOTES – May 24, 2024


1)         Scott DIxon                 227.206 mph               
14)       Takuma Sato               224.630 mph                             
15)       Pietro Fittipaldi           224.568 mph               
17)       Graham Rahal             224.353 mph                           
19)       Christian Lundgaard   224.287 mph  

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I think it was a solid day. I thought the United Rentals car was fairly good but obviously we’d like to find a little more consistency and ability to pass. I think it’s pretty tricky in the back there. We will see. We’ve got a lot of work to do on Sunday, but the car felt good. I mean, I was running around a lot of good guys and able to hold my own so we will see.” 

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 had a lot of things to work on in the final practice. I’m super happy that what we needed to get done, we got done. The 5-hour ENERGY car got a lot better in traffic. We were super competitive. I’m very happy about the execution of the whole team. Now, let’s do it again on Sunday.” 

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: “I’m disappointed we weren’t better, to be honest. I think the car was very much out of the window compared to what we’d been in any traffic running. We need to really understand why that is. We will debrief as a group and compare notes.” 

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: “Today was better than Monday. It was the first day of (running in) race trim because we concentrated so much on qualifying last week. So last Monday felt terrible and today I think we’re getting close. I could be happier but the car is decent and somewhat in the ballpark. We still need to do a final adjustment but at least we will be there. 
(On focusing on qualifying setup more than the race set up:) You have to work on your qualifying setup. But, obviously, it raining did not help but everybody in the same boat. But because of the circumstance of last year (team qualifying), for my current teammates, we had to be focused on the qualifying so much. I’m really happy that we’ve done it. We should be happy with a top-10 qualification. Where we are starting is extremely important in this race. I think track position does matter too. I think we are happy and should be proud of that. But, then of course, I wish we had a little bit more time to set up the car for the race. Certainly, we are not the strongest car in traffic so, we just need to hang on and see how it goes in the first half of the race. Towards the end of the race hopefully we are more comfortable with the tows and downforce setting. Yeah, let’s hope we are competitive in the end.” 

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: The 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Sunday, May 26. NBC will begin coverage at 11 a.m. ET.