Lundgaard, Sato and Rahal Finished 13th, 14th and 15th in the Four-Hour Delayed Indy 500; Fittipaldi Collected in Opening Lap Crash & Retired in 31st

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
108th Running of the Indianapolis 500
RACE NOTES / QUOTES – May 26, 2024


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The (pit speed) penalty was disappointing. All the lights on my dash were on. I was down to pit speed so I need to understand how much I missed it by and frankly where. In the end, I don’t think it hurt us very much. It kind of put us behind the eight ball a little bit but with that yellow we got right back on the lead lap so we were okay. It got really hard to pass at the end. It was hard to go forward. There in the mid-race my car was really good and we were able to make a lot of passes. You know, I think we gained four positions in only a couple of laps which is great but then the last two stints I just didn’t quite have it. It’s a little frustrating because I thought we had a better pace than what showed there. I think there’s still a lot of work to be done in the offseason. It was nice to have three cars come home in the top 15. We’d rather have three in the top five but ultimately, I think we did a decent job.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Led 1 lap in 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 dropped two spots to 14th in INDYCAR SERIES point standings with 86.

PIETRO FITTIPALDI, No. 30 5-hour ENERGY Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Yeah, I’m all good. They just went through the precautionary checks when it’s a big crash like that. I’m just so pissed off to be honest because we just wanted a clean start. Obviously the two guys in front of me wrecked and we cleared them on the inside and I was just in a straight line when I got completely side walled and sent into the wall. It’s just so frustrating. We put so much effort into this race and it’s such a long race to get wiped like that in turn 1. I want to watch the onboard and see if there’s anything that I could’ve done different, but I was being pretty cautious and I just got completely hit when I was clearing the wreck and then it was the end of the day.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Rookie Blomqvist drove onto the grass on Lap 1, Turn 1, which spun his car, sent it backwards into the wall, and collected Ericsson. Fittipaldi attempted to avoid the crashing cars, but Ilott went down the inside of him and made side-by-side contact. The rear of Fittipaldi’s car made contact with the wall but Ilott continued. Was 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 50.

CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a long, long day today. The team did a tremendous job. We started P28 and we finished P13, Takuma finished P14 and Graham finished P15, so we were right there, all of us. There was a lot of damage to the car from debris that we ran over at some point in the race. Considering that, I think it’s been a good day. I’ve got to say thank you to Hy-Vee, all of the team’s partners and sponsors and my engineer, Ben, for making the car a lot better since Friday. So, right now I’m pretty happy and pretty pleased. Obviously, I would’ve liked to have win but this feels like a win.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Led 4 laps and recorded the fastest lap of the race on Lap 175. He started 28th in his 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… He dropped two places in the point standings to 11th with 102.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 75 AMADA Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Obviously it was a difficult race but I think a huge congrats to the team. I think we made a great step forward the entire month. I think the 75 car worked really well together. Unfortunately, perhaps we were a little draggy on the straight when things were cooling in the evening. It just didn’t have speed. So mid stint we were very strong. One time we had to go all the way to the back but we fought back really strong and I’m really proud of all the boys for what they’ve done. In the end, the result wasn’t what we expected or what we wanted but I think we should be happy and take some positives and then hopefully we can move on. I’d like to thank Bobby, Mike, and David for the opportunity to drive for them again. It was great to have AMADA with us on the No. 75 along with Panasonic Automotive, Niterra, Deloitte Tohmatsu, NAC, and of course Honda.” 

  • FAST FACTS: The two-time Indy 500 champion started 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; Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2). 

NEXT UP: The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will take place next weekend, May 31 to June 2.