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RAHAL AND SATO BOTH RAN IN THE TOP-THREE OF THE HONDA INDY TORONTO

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Indy Toronto – Streets around Exhibition Place Verizon IndyCar Series RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, July 15, 2018 RAHAL AND SATO BOTH RAN IN THE TOP-THREE OF THE HONDA INDY TORONTO BUT SEPARATE INCIDENTS LIMITED THEIR FINISHES TO 21ST AND 22ND   GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rousseau Metal Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I’m disappointed;…

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Honda Indy Toronto – Streets around Exhibition Place – QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, July 14, 2018

After Setting the Fastest Time in the Pre-Qualifying Session, Sato Disappointed with His Best Start of Seventh for the Honda Indy; Rahal 13th as Wet Conditions Produced Extra Challenges for the Field Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Indy Toronto – Streets around Exhibition Place Verizon IndyCar Series QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, July 14, 2018  …

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Sato Earned His First Podium of the Season with Third Place in the Iowa Corn 300; Rahal Finished Seventh

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Iowa Corn 300 – Iowa Speedway

Verizon IndyCar Series

RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, July 8, 2018

 

SATO EARNED HIS FIRST PODIUM OF THE SEASON WITH THIRD PLACE IN THE IOWA CORN 300 AFTER HE LED THREE LAPS; RAHAL FINISHED SEVENTH

 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Luther Automotive Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We started out really weak. The rear of the car was not good at all so that was frustrating. We made some changes before the race and the whole idea was to help the rear but it did the polar opposite which wasn’t good. Halfway through the race the car started coming to us, the track came to us. We took some front wing out and I think on the last stint we were probably one of the quickest cars on track and I know we were catching up to the lead group but we were almost a full lap behind so we were having to come back to them. We passed (pole sitter Josef) Newgarden, (Spencer) Pigot and some others. We were legitimately good in the end but it just took us too long to get there.  We went down a lap and could never fully recover.”

 

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal started 12th and mostly ran in that position on the lead lap until Lap 35/300 when he was passed by leader Newgarden and also lost a position to run 13th.  The team made some changes to hopefully help the handling of his race car when he made his first stop on L70. He moved up to 11th by L101 and was almost to laps down when the caution came out for Veach, who brushed the wall, on L139.  He made his second stop under caution on L146 after being waved around and back on the lead lap.  He was 10th after that stop and the last car on the lead lap. He held the position until L222 after passing Carpenter for ninth.  By the time he made his third stop on L226, he had cycled up to seventh. He went a lap down when he made his stop and returned to the track in eighth place. He moved into seventh on L279/300 when Pagenaud brushed the wall and maintained it despite taking advantage of a late race caution to pit for new tires during a caution for Carpenter who got lose in Turn 2 and made slight contact with Sato. The new tires would not be needed as the race never returned to green conditions and he took the checkered flag in seventh place… Was his 11th race here. He has earned eight top-10 finishes in 11 starts with his best being fourth in 2015…  Rahal relinquished sole possession of sixth place in the point standings and is now tied with Robert Wickens for sixth with a total of 304.  Leader Scott Dixon has 411, second place Josef Newgarden has 378, third place Alexander Rossi also has 370, fourth place Ryan Hunter-Reay has 359 and fifth place Will Power has 358.

 

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I had great fun.  The Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda was super-fast. The team did a great job. We weren’t that good in the first practice after skipping the test here last week but we came back strong.  The strength in engineering is unbelievable. We lost some positions after the last stint but we came back strong.  (On contact with Carpenter’s sliding car at the end:) He was obviously sliding and I was already inside him.  I didn’t see it much.  Suddenly he was coming inside and clipped me at the back of the car.  It caught me by surprise and I obviously saved him (from crashing). Had we gone back to green for the last few laps, my car was fine.  There was a mark on it but I would have gone for it for another place maybe. My car was really fast today.  I want to thank Bobby (Rahal), Mike (Lanigan) and Dave (Letterman).  A lot of people struggled today but we had a good car.”

 

  • FAST FACTS: Sato passed Carpenter on the start for ninth place and ran no lower than 11th before he steadily climbed to seventh and then into sixth before his first stop on L77.  He maintained sixth place once his stop was complete and passed Hunter-Reay for fifth on L105/300 and was the last car on the lead lap.  He passed Pagenaud for fourth on L125 before Veach brought out a caution on L139.  He made his second stop on L142 when the pits opened and maintained fourth place.  He now had a bigger gap on the leader with 10 cars back on the lead lap.  On L171 he passed eventual second-place finisher Pigot for third and remained ahead of him the entire stint including when he passed eventual winner Hinchcliffe for second on L213 and later took over the lead on Laps 224-226 before his third and final stop on L226. Track position dictated his return to the track in fifth place with a lot of lapped traffic between himself and the frontrunners which hindered his pursuit. He held his position until L294 when Carpenter got loose in Turn 2 and made light contact with the right rear of Sato’s car when he had nowhere to go to avoid him.  He sustained light damage to his race car but didn’t think it would hinder him on the late race restart. When the pits opened on L297/300, second and third place runners Newgarden and Wickens pitted for new tires to challenge for the win on a restart but the race never went back to green conditions and Sato took the checkered flag in third place… In his previous eight races at Iowa Speedway, Takuma’s best start is pole in 2011 with KV Racing where he also led seven laps and his best finish is 11th place in 2016 with A.J. Foyt Racing. He has three top-10 starts including fifth place last year with Andretti Autosport where he finished 16th… Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN 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). He moved from 13th to 12th in series point standings with 237.

 

RLL AT IOWA: The Iowa Corn 300 marked the ninth event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Iowa Speedway.  Takuma Sato matched the best finish for the team of third by Scott Sharp in 2007 who also earned the top start for the team of fourth the same year.  Prior to the 2018 event, the team prepared a total of 10 entries for drivers Scott Sharp (2007), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012) Graham Rahal (2013-2017) and James Jakes (2013). The team has earned two podiums (3rd, Sharp 2007, Sato 2018) and seven, top-10 finishes at the track with Sato’s third place and Rahal’s seventh 

 

NEXT UP: The Honda Indy Toronto will take place next weekend on the streets around Exhibition Place. IT is the final street race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. NBCSN will begin live coverage of the race at 3 p.m. ET.

Sato and Rahal Will Start 10th and 12th in Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Iowa Corn 300 – Iowa Speedway

Verizon IndyCar Series

QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, July 7, 2018

 

SATO AND RAHAL WILL START 10TH AND 12TH IN SUNDAY’S IOWA CORN 300 AT IOWA SPEEDWAY

 

POLE: Will Power  – 2-lap avg. speed of 182.391 mph  (L1: 17.6810, L2: 17.6112)

10th: Takuma Sato – 2-lap avg. speed of 178.708 mph  (L1: 18.0678, L2: 17.9507)

12th: Graham Rahal  – 2-lap avg. speed of 178.410 mph (L1: 18.0323, L2: 18.0463)

 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Luther Automotive Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The Luther Automotive Group car accelerates pretty darn well so I expected to be in the first few rows so I’m definitely disappointed. We had a huge amount of understeer and that hurt us but we’ll keep chasing it.  It was weird; it felt like the front tires weren’t even on the ground which isn’t anything like this morning.  We knew with the hotter track temp we would be chasing that a little bit but it’s not overly hot here today.  In race trim, up high we’ll be perfectly fine.  But in the car, what do you do?  I softened the bar and went left on the jacker which is all the tools you have.  Other than that, just hang on.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 11th race here. He has earned seven top-10 finishes in 10 starts with his best being fourth in 2015.  In 2017, he ran fourth most of the race but finished fifth after starting 10th.  The race was halted after 200 of 300 laps for approx. 20 minutes due to light sprinkles while Rahal was fourth.  Late in the race, he lost track position due to being behind a lapped car of rookie Gutierrez and once he was able to pass, he ran out of time to move higher than fifth.  In 2016, he started 12th and was up to fifth during the pit cycle before his first pit stop on Lap 58/300. After his stop, he maintained a position around 11th place. He was a lap down but got waved around during the caution period for Hunter-Reay (L109-127) and made a stop at the end of that caution and gained four spots to run eighth. He had previously reported a vibration before that stop and repeated the assessment around Lap 168.  The problem kept appearing mid-stint and until the end of the race which forced the team to pit earlier than expected on the remaining stops and Rahal ultimately finished 16th. It was his ninth race here… Rahal earned his best finish at Iowa Speedway of fourth place in 2015 despite dropping a total of three laps down during the race.  He started 17th and was 10th when he had to pit early due to his right rear tire deflating and went two laps down to the leader. Later he got back on the lead lap and reported a shifting issue on Lap 98/300 that slowed his return to the track from his second pit stop after having to reboot and he dropped a lap down again. Later in the race, the team took advantage of a caution period to pit for fuel and new tires which would enable them to go further than the leaders on the next stint and possibly pick up a yellow that would put them back on the lead lap. While leading and with five laps to go before they were forced to pit for their last stop, Sato brought out a caution period and the team stopped for fuel and tires. Due to the reoccurring shifting issue, he had to leave the pits in sixth gear rather than first and returned to the track in eight place, and on the lead lap. The race restarted with 23 laps to go and Rahal moved from eighth place into fourth by Lap 294/300. He held his position and finished fourth but he and the team felt like they had earned a victory of sorts… In 2014, he started 15th and stayed on the lead lap with the help of the timing of the caution periods. He made his sixth stop on a late race caution period for Montoya and returned to the track in 10th place. Once the race was restarted with six laps to go he moved up to eighth place and passed Castroneves on the final lap for seventh. He set the 19th fastest lap time in single-car qualifying in 2013 to determine that he would be in Heat Race 2. He drove to victory in Heat Race 2 after starting seventh and progressed to Heat Race 3 where he also started seventh. Contact with Ed Carpenter on Lap 16 of 50 damaged his front wing and he held on to finish ninth of 10 cars to match his best start at Iowa of ninth.  He started sixth after engine penalties were served and charged from 10th to second on his second stint. He challenged for the win and led Lap 160 until the last 20 laps where he dropped to fourth while navigating traffic and then fifth on the final lap.  In 2012 he qualified 10th, started 20th (penalty for unapproved engine change) and finished ninth with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). In 2011 he qualified 20th and finished 15th with SCCGR. In 2010, he qualified 17th with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, led 11 laps and finished ninth. In 2009 he qualified ninth and finished 11th with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) and in 2008 he qualified 16th and finished 10th with NHLR… Rahal is ranked sixth in series point standings with a total of 278.  Leader Scott Dixon has 393, second place Ryan Hunter-Reay has 348, third place Alexander Rossi also has 348, fourth place Josef Newgarden has 343 and fifth place Will Power has 328.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We were in a relatively better position in qualifying than we were in the first practice but the conditions were quite a bit different.  Since we skipped the test here, it was a quite hectic first practice.  We struggled with both speed and balance. There was a sketchy moment with some push. It’s quite challenging. I was quite surprised at how hard it is to get a good balance with the new aero kit and am not really satisfied at all with it currently but we will try to get it better for the race.”

  • FAST FACTS: Earned his fourth top-10 start at Iowa Speedway with 10th place today in nine attempts… In his previous eight races at Iowa Speedway, Takuma’s best start is pole in 2011 with KV Racing where he also led seven laps and his best finish is 11th place in 2016 with A.J. Foyt Racing. He has three top-10 starts including fifth place last year with Andretti Autosport where he finished 16th… Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN 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). He is ranked 13th in series point standings with 201.

RLL AT IOWA: The Iowa Corn 300 will mark the ninth event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Iowa Speedway.  The best finish for the team is third in 2007 by Scott Sharp who also earned the top start for the team of fourth the same year.  Prior to the 2018 event, the team prepared a total of 10 entries for drivers Scott Sharp (2007), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012) Graham Rahal (2013-2017) and James Jakes (2013). The team has earned one podium (3rd, Sharp 2007) and five, top-10 finishes at the track.   

NEXT UP: Final practice will take place tonight from 5:45-6:45 p.m. CT.  The Iowa Corn 300 will take the Green Flag at 1:40 p.m. CT.  NBCSN will begin live coverage of the race at 2 p.m. ET.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes commentary by the Advance Auto Parts NDYCAR Radio Network.

Rahal and Sato Head to the Shortest Track on the INDYCAR Schedule — Iowa Speedway for the Iowa Corn 300

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Iowa Corn 300 – Iowa Speedway
Pre-Race Notes

Round 11 of 17 in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series

DATE: July 7-8, 2018

PRACTICE BROADCASTS: Live on www.Indycar.com with analysis from the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network (AAPIRN) and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycaron Saturday beginning at 11:15 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. ET. Also on the INDYCAR 18 app.

QUALIFYING BROADCAST:  NBCSN will air live coverage on Saturday, July 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET as will the (AAPIRN), the INDYCAR 18 app and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).

RACE BROADCAST:   Live on NBCSN, Sunday, July 8 beginning at 2 p.m. ET and on the INDYCAR 18 app. The race will also air live on the AAPIRN, Sirius 217, XM 209 and www.indycar.com

TRACK LAYOUT:   0.875-mile oval

RACE LENGTH:  300 laps / 268.2 miles

2017 WINNER: Helio Castroneves

2017 POLESITTER:  Will Power (2-lap avg. speed 185.210 mph)

RAHAL’S BEST IOWA START/FINISH:  6th in 2013 / 4th in 2015

RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit (street) 2017 / 1st in St. Petein 2008, Fontana (oval; 500 miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas (oval) 2016; Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017, Detroit Race 2 (street) 2017

SATO’S BEST IOWA START/FINISH:  4th in with 2016 (Foyt) & 2011 (KVRT) / 5th in 2011 with KVRT; will be his 10th race here

SATO’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH: Pole at Iowa (oval) 2011, Edmonton (street) 2011, Houston Race 1 (street) 2013, St. Pete (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 2017, Pocono (oval) 2017 / 1st in Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017)

RLL’S TOP START/ FINISH AT IOWA: 4th / 3rd – both in 2007 by Scott Sharp

NEWS & NOTES:

 

RLL AT IOWA SPEEDWAY

The Iowa Corn Indy 300 will mark the ninth event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Iowa Speedway.  The best finish for the team is third in 2007 by Scott Sharp who also earned the top start for the team of fourth the same year.  Prior to the 2018 event, the team prepared a total of 10 entries for drivers Scott Sharp (2007), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012) Graham Rahal (2013-2017) and James Jakes (2013). The team has earned one podium (3rd, Sharp 2007) and five, top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 Luther Automotive Group entry for Graham Rahal and the No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic entry for Takuma Sato will bring the total number of cars entered in the race to 12 in 2018.

GRAHAM AT IOWA SPEEDWAY

The 2018 Iowa Corn Indy 300 will be Graham Rahal’s 11th race here. He has earned seven top-10 finishes in 10 starts with his best being fourth in 2015. In 2017, he ran fourth most of the race but finished fifth after starting 10th.  The race was halted after 200 of 300 laps for approx. 20 minutes due to light sprinkles while Rahal was fourth.  Late in the race, he lost track position due to being behind a lapped car of rookie Gutierrez and once he was able to pass, he ran out of time to move higher than fifth.  In 2016, he started 12th and was up to fifth during the pit cycle before his first pit stop on Lap 58/300. He received a wave around during the caution period for Hunter-Reay (L109-127) to get back on the lead lap before his second stop to run eighth. He had previously reported a vibration before his second stop and the problem kept appearing mid-stint and until the end of the race which forced the team to pit earlier than expected on the remaining stops and Rahal ultimately finished 16th.  Rahal earned his best finish at Iowa Speedway of fourth place in 2015 despite dropping a total of three laps down during the race.  He started 17th and was 10th when he had to pit early due to his right rear tire deflating and went two laps down to the leader. Later he got back on the lead lap and reported a shifting issue on Lap 98/300 that slowed his return to the track from his second pit stop after having to reboot and he dropped a lap down again. Later in the race, the team took advantage of a caution period to pit for fuel and new tires which would enable them to go further than the leaders on the next stint and possibly pick up a yellow that would put them back on the lead lap. While leading and with five laps to go before they were forced to pit for their last stop, Sato brought out a caution period and the team stopped for fuel and tires. Due to the reoccurring shifting issue, he had to leave the pits in sixth gear rather than first and returned to the track in eight place, and on the lead lap. The race restarted with 23 laps to go and Rahal moved from eighth place into fourth by Lap 294/300. He held his position and finished fourth but he and the team felt like they had earned a victory of sorts.  In 2014, he started 15th and stayed on the lead lap with the help of the timing of the caution periods. He made his sixth stop on a late race caution period for Montoya and returned to the track in 10th place. Once the race was restarted with six laps to go he moved up to eighth place and passed Castroneves on the final lap for seventh. He set the 19th fastest lap time in single-car qualifying in 2013 to determine that he would be in Heat Race 2. He drove to victory in Heat Race 2 after starting seventh and progressed to Heat Race 3 where he also started seventh. Contact with Ed Carpenter on Lap 16 of 50 damaged his front wing and he held on to finish ninth of 10 cars to match his best start at Iowa of ninth.  He started sixth after engine penalties were served and charged from 10th to second on his second stint. He challenged for the win and led Lap 160 until the last 20 laps where he dropped to fourth while navigating traffic and then fifth on the final lap.  In 2012 he qualified 10th, started 20th (penalty for unapproved engine change) and finished ninth with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). In 2011 he qualified 20th and finished 15th with SCCGR. In 2010, he qualified 17th with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, led 11 laps and finished ninth. In 2009 he qualified ninth and finished 11th with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) and in 2008 he qualified 16th and finished 10th with NHLR. He is looking forward to the first race in the new universal aero kit.

“We tried to test at Iowa Speedway in May but didn’t get to turn a lap due to the conditions. I think it will be a great race. INDYCAR always puts on a great event at Iowa Speedway and I think a lot of that is due to the track design and layout compared to other ovals.  We can use a variety of different lines and lanes and that makes it fun. I am looking forward to getting back on track with a new design that will require more lifting and possibly even braking for the race!”

TAKUMA AT IOWA SPEEDWAY

In his previous eight races at Iowa Speedway, Takuma’s best start is pole in 2011 with KV Racing where he also led seven laps and his best finish is 11th place in 2016 with A.J. Foyt Racing. He has three top-10 starts including fifth place last year with Andretti Autosport where he finished 16th.

“Iowa Speedway is just non-stop cornering with usually the highest lateral G-Force loads recorded during the season. I simply like Iowa and hopefully that continues this year with the lower-downforce package which will make it even more challenging. Also there is a bump on Turn 2 which is tricky but generally it’s a fun, great track and racing there is exciting.”

TAKUMA ON THE CHALLENGES OF IOWA SPEEDWAY WITH THE NEW AERO KIT

“It will be a tough race. It’s a lower downforce package so it’s possibly the lowest one in recent years so I’m sure it’s going to be very challenging to follow cars. If we could run in the second lane then it will be quite exciting one but we will see.”

POINTS BATTLE AFTER 10 OF 17 RACES

With seven races yet to be run — and eight races worth of points available — this season, Rahal is ranked sixth in series point standings with a total of 278 and Sato is 13th with 201.  Leader Scott Dixon has 393, second place Ryan Hunter-Reay has 348, third place Alexander Rossi also has 348, fourth place Josef Newgarden has 343 and fifth place Will Power has 328.  Rahal is looking for a win to get back into the championship fight and Sato is hoping to carry momentum from his best finish of the season of fourth place in the previous race at Road America into Iowa to improve his standing.

“I need a win and we as a team need a win,” said Rahal. “It’s that simple. To get back into the championship, top-10s seemingly aren’t allowing us to close up any ground.  We need to win, and Iowa would be a great place to do it. I have always loved racing in Iowa.  I find the track makes for a ton of fun for me and I I think we can get it done.  With a little luck, some speed and good strategy and we can make it happen.”

“It’s extremely important to carry good momentum to Iowa and I am sure we will be able to achieve another strong result. We have been a little too unlucky in many circumstance but the last race showed our speed and strength very well in a no-caution, straight-forward race so I am looking forward to have another good weekend.”

GRAHAM ON THE LEVEL OF COMPETITION THIS YEAR & THE IMPACT THE UNIVERSAL AERO KIT HAS HAD 

“It’s been a very competitive season.  As everyone can see, we are separated by basically nothing (lap time wise) every weekend. As a team, we need to continue to push hard to find some gains and try to close the gap on a very talented group of drivers and teams currently.”

Sato Earned His Best Start at Road America of Seventh Place for the KOHLER Grand Prix; Rahal to Start Ninth

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – June 23, 2018

SATO EARNED HIS BEST START AT ROAD AMERICA OF SEVENTH PLACE FOR THE KOHLER GRAND PRIX; RAHAL TO START NINTH

1)         Josef Newgarden      1:43.2026 / 140.020 mph       (Group 2, Round 3)

7)         Takuma Sato             1:43.1108 / 140.144 mph       (Group 2, Round 2)

9)         Graham Rahal           1:43.1874 / 140.040 mph       (Group 2, Round 2)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 GEHL Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We wanted to be further up and get the GEHL Honda in the top-six. We’ve started in the top six every year, but there was nothing more in the car today. For maybe the first time this year I’m confident saying that; there was nothing more. We only lacked one-tenth (of a second) over four miles from fourth (place) but that’s what Indy car racing is now. Yeah we qualified ninth but when you think that a tenth of a second over four plus miles can move you five spots, it’s crazy but that’s the reality of Indy car.  We’ve just got to try to find a little more improvements for tomorrow, make the car a little more consistent for the race and hopefully we can go out there and attack.  I think a lot of people have a lot of questions for the race. There is no warm-up this year so we’ll see how it goes.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his eighth race here and fourth in a Champ or Indy car.  In 2007 and 2016 here, he finished third and was eighth in 2017.  Last year, Rahal started sixth in the 55-lap race and jumped to fourth on the start past Pagenaud and Dixon.  Dixon regained the spot but INDYCAR determined that Rahal had blocked Dixon so he had to give up one spot and moved back to sixth on Lap 2.  After a handful of laps, Rahal knew the team would need to go with a four stop strategy rather than a three-stop. After stops on Laps 7, 19, 29 and 42 he was running 13th.  A Lap 45 full course caution for Kanaan’s crash bunched the field and moved Rahal into 12th. Once the race restarted on Lap 47, he got by Aleshin, Chilton and later Rossi who made contact with another car on Lap 49. On Lap 53 he took over eighth place when seventh place Hunter-Reay made contact with another car and took the checkered flag in that spot.  In 2016, Rahal not only returned to the track to race for the first time in nine years (2007), he also returned to the podium.  He progressed to the Fast Six in qualifying and started sixth.  He passed Helio Castroneves on the opening lap for fifth place and on Lap 6 of 50, he moved into fourth when second-place runner Dixon had engine issues. On Lap 7 he passed series points leader Simon Pagenaud for third place and held the position until he took the lead before his first stop on Lap 13.  He leapfrogged Kanaan for second place when he returned to the track ahead of Kanaan but the Brazilian was able to get back by on hot tires compared to Rahal’s cold tires.  He moved into second when Kanaan made his second stop before Rahal made his on Lap 26. The same scenario happened and Rahal beat him on track but was passed by Kanaan right after due to being on cold tires.  He was on scuffed red tires and Pagenaud was able to pass him for third on Lap 34 with the help of Push to Pass.  He made his third stop on Lap 39 and he was unable to get back on track ahead of Kanaan but got ahead of Helio Castroneves for fourth. On the restart from Conor Daly’s crash, he held fourth but was able to pass Pagenaud for third on Lap 46 of 50. He held the position and finished third… He finished third in the 2007 Champ Car race after starting fourth with Newman/Haas/ Lanigan Racing…  An electrical failure in the season-finale Atlantic Championship race in 2006 at Road America after starting third led to a runner-up finish in the title fight with eventual champion Simon Pagenaud after he retired in 20th place…  Rahal also competed in two Formula BMW events here in 2004 and once in Star Mazda in 2005. He is currently ranked sixth in series point standings with 250 points.  He trails leader Scott Dixon by 107 (357) and fifth place Josef Newgarden by 39 (289). 

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was definitely a good day.  The entire team worked extremely well. The 30 boys always have but it is great to give them back a nice position in qualifying.  We were just four hundredths (of a second) off from the top six (in Round 2) and that shows how competitive the field is. I’m extremely happy to start seventh, which is the best position here so far. It’s a long race. We believe we have a strong car for the race so I’m looking forward to having a strong result.”

  • FAST FACTS: Earned his best start here of seventh place today… In his two previous races here his previous best start and finish came in 2016 with A.J. Foyt Racing when he started 15th and jumped up to eighth early in the race before an electrical issue limited his finish to 17th place.  Last year he started 20th and finished 19th with Andretti Autosport. He enjoys the many challenges the course provides to Indy car drivers… Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN 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).  He is ranked 13th in series point standings with 169.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT ROAD AMERICA … The 2018 KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America will mark the 15th time for the team to compete in an Indy car race here and third since 2003.  The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races here from 1992-2003 and again since 2016 with a best starting position of pole by Kenny Brack in 2001 and best finish of second place by Bobby Rahal in 1996. The team has earned a total of five podium finishes here (2nd – B. Rahal 1996; 3rd – B. Rahal 1992-1993, Kenny Brack 2000, Graham Rahal 2016). The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA-sanctioned races here under the name BMW Team RLL since 2009 and has three wins (2009, 2010, 2012), three poles (2009, 2011, 2014) and a total of eight podium finishes here.

NEXT UP:  The KOHLER Grand Prix will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 12:30 PM ET Sunday, June 24.  The field will take the Green Flag at 1:12 PM ET.

Rahal and Sato Set the Sixth and Eighth Fastest Times in Practice for the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America
Verizon IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – June 22, 2018

RAHAL AND SATO SET THE SIXTH AND EIGHTH FASTEST TIMES IN PRACTICE FOR THE KOHLER GRAND PRIX

1)         Josef Newgarden      1:42.6279 / 140.804 mph      

6)         Graham Rahal           1:43.1995 / 140.024 mph

8)         Takuma Sato             1:43.4729 / 139.654 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 GEHL Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a good finish to the day for the GEHL team. We pushed hard and made some changes between the sessions and I think we went the right direction.  This morning we had some mishaps and unfortunately it lost us the session but we had a good recovery. We’ll try to keep improving the car a little bit and see what we can do in qualifying.”

  • FAST FACTS: will be Graham Rahal’s eighth race here and fourth in a Champ or Indy car.  In 2007 and 2016 here, he finished third and was eighth in 2017.  Last year, Rahal started sixth in the 55-lap race and jumped to fourth on the start past Pagenaud and Dixon.  Dixon regained the spot but INDYCAR determined that Rahal had blocked Dixon so he had to give up one spot and moved back to sixth on Lap 2.  After a handful of laps, Rahal knew the team would need to go with a four stop strategy rather than a three-stop. After stops on Laps 7, 19, 29 and 42 he was running 13th.  A Lap 45 full course caution for Kanaan’s crash bunched the field and moved Rahal into 12th. Once the race restarted on Lap 47, he got by Aleshin, Chilton and later Rossi who made contact with another car on Lap 49. On Lap 53 he took over eighth place when seventh place Hunter-Reay made contact with another car and took the checkered flag in that spot.  In 2016, Rahal not only returned to the track to race for the first time in nine years (2007), he also returned to the podium.  He progressed to the Fast Six in qualifying and started sixth.  He passed Helio Castroneves on the opening lap for fifth place and on Lap 6 of 50, he moved into fourth when second-place runner Dixon had engine issues. On Lap 7 he passed series points leader Simon Pagenaud for third place and held the position until he took the lead before his first stop on Lap 13.  He leapfrogged Kanaan for second place when he returned to the track ahead of Kanaan but the Brazilian was able to get back by on hot tires compared to Rahal’s cold tires.  He moved into second when Kanaan made his second stop before Rahal made his on Lap 26. The same scenario happened and Rahal beat him on track but was passed by Kanaan right after due to being on cold tires.  He was on scuffed red tires and Pagenaud was able to pass him for third on Lap 34 with the help of Push to Pass.  He made his third stop on Lap 39 and he was unable to get back on track ahead of Kanaan but got ahead of Helio Castroneves for fourth. On the restart from Conor Daly’s crash, he held fourth but was able to pass Pagenaud for third on Lap 46 of 50. He held the position and finished third… He finished third in the 2007 Champ Car race after starting fourth with Newman/Haas/ Lanigan Racing…  An electrical failure in the season-finale Atlantic Championship race in 2006 at Road America after starting third led to a runner-up finish in the title fight with eventual champion Simon Pagenaud after he retired in 20th place…  Rahal also competed in two Formula BMW events here in 2004 and once in Star Mazda in 2005. He is currently ranked sixth in series point standings with 250 points.  He trails leader Scott Dixon by 107 (357) and fifth place Josef Newgarden by 39 (289). 

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a good day, a productive one. We wanted to improve a little more than we did in the second session but overall we tried a few things and we learned a few good things and a few not so good. I think we can continue improving for tomorrow.”

  • FAST FACTS: In his two previous races here his best start and finish came in 2016 with A.J. Foyt Racing when he started 15th and jumped up to eighth early in the race before an electrical issue limited his finish to 17th place.  Last year he started 20th and finished 19th with Andretti Autosport. He enjoys the many challenges the course provides to Indy car drivers… Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN 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).  He is ranked 13th in series point standings with 169.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT ROAD AMERICA … The 2018 KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America will mark the 15th time for the team to compete in an Indy car race here and third since 2003.  The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races here from 1992-2003 and again since 2016 with a best starting position of pole by Kenny Brack in 2001 and best finish of second place by Bobby Rahal in 1996. The team has earned a total of five podium finishes here (2nd – B. Rahal 1996; 3rd – B. Rahal 1992-1993, Kenny Brack 2000, Graham Rahal 2016). The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA-sanctioned races here under the name BMW Team RLL since 2009 and has three wins (2009, 2010, 2012), three poles (2009, 2011, 2014) and a total of eight podium finishes here.

NEXT UP:  Practice 3 will take place tomorrow from 11:00-11:45 a.m. CT and qualifying will take place from 3:00-4:15.  NBCSN will broadcast qualifying coverage on a tape delayed basis at 6:30 PM ET Saturday. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commentary. The KOHLER Grand Prix will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 12:30 PM ET Sunday, June 24.

Rahal and Sato Return to Road America for the KOHLER Grand Prix

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
KOHLER Grand Prix – Road America
Round 10 of 17 in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series

DATE:                                      June 22–24, 2018

PRACTICE BROADCASTS:       Live on www.Indycar.com with analysis from the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio

Network (AAPIRN) and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar)

on Friday beginning at 12 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. ET and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET. Also on the INDYCAR 18 app. 

QUALIFYING BROADCAST:      Tape delayed on NBCSN, SaturdayJune 23 beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.  Live on the AAPIRN,

the INDYCAR18 app and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis)

RACE BROADCAST:                 Live on NBCSN, Sunday, June 24 beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET and on the INDYCAR 18

app.  The race will also air live on the AAPIRN, Sirius 214, XM 209 and www.indycar.com

TRACK LAYOUT:                      4.048-mile, 14-turn permanent road course

RACE LENGTH:                        55 laps / 222.6 miles

2017 WINNER:                          Scott Dixon

2017 POLESITTER:                  Helio Castroneves (1:41.3007 / 142.649 mph)

RAHAL’S BEST ROAD AMERICA START/FINISH:         4th in 2007 with NHLR / 3rd in 2007 & 2016; will be his 4th Indy car race here & 8th overall

RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH:                         Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana & Mid-Ohio 2015, Texas 2016, Detroit Race 1 & Race 2 2017

SATO’S BEST ROAD AMERICA START/FINISH:         15th in 2016 / 17th in 2016 – both with Foyt; will be 3rd race here

SATO’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH:                         Pole at Iowa (oval) 2011, Edmonton (street) 2011, Houston Race 1 (street) 2013, St. Pete (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 (street) 2014, Detroit Dual 2 2017, Pocono (oval) 2017 / 1st in Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017)

RLL’S BEST START/FINISH AT ROAD AMERICA:                 1st – Kenny Brack (2001) / 2nd – Bobby Rahal (1996); 15th race here

NEWS & NOTES:

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT ROAD AMERICA

The 2018 KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America will mark the 15th time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete in an Indy car race here and third since 2003.  The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races here from 1992-2003 and again since 2016 with a best starting position of pole by Kenny Brack in 2001 and best finish of second place by Bobby Rahal in 1996. The team has earned a total of five podium finishes here (2nd – B. Rahal 1996; 3rd – B. Rahal 1992-1993, Kenny Brack 2000, Graham Rahal 2016).

Prior to 2018, the team prepared a total of 24 Indy car entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain (2002-2003) and Graham Rahal (2016-2017).  The No. 15 GEHL Honda entry for Graham Rahal and the No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda entry for Takuma Sato will bring that total to 26 in 2018.  The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA-sanctioned races here under the name BMW Team RLL since 2009 and has three wins (2009, 2010, 2012), three poles (2009, 2011, 2014) and a total of eight podium finishes here.

TWO INDYCAR PODIUMS IN PAST THREE RACES HERE FOR RAHAL

The KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America will be Graham Rahal’s eighth race here and fourth in a Champ or Indy car.  In 2007 and 2016 here, he finished third and was eighth in 2017.  Last year, Rahal started sixth in the 55-lap race and jumped to fourth on the start past Pagenaud and Dixon.  Dixon regained the spot but INDYCAR determined that Rahal had blocked Dixon so he had to give up one spot and moved back to sixth on Lap 2.  After a handful of laps, Rahal knew the team would need to go with a four stop strategy rather than a three-stop. After stops on Laps 7, 19, 29 and 42 he was running 13th.  A Lap 45 full course caution for Kanaan’s crash bunched the field and moved Rahal into 12th. Once the race restarted on Lap 47, he got by Aleshin, Chilton and later Rossi who made contact with another car on Lap 49. On Lap 53 he took over eighth place when seventh place Hunter-Reay made contact with another car and took the checkered flag in that spot.  In 2016, Rahal not only returned to the track to race for the first time in nine years (2007), he also returned to the podium.  He progressed to the Fast Six in qualifying and started sixth.  He passed Helio Castroneves on the opening lap for fifth place and on Lap 6 of 50, he moved into fourth when second-place runner Dixon had engine issues. On Lap 7 he passed series points leader Simon Pagenaud for third place and held the position until he took the lead before his first stop on Lap 13.  He leapfrogged Kanaan for second place when he returned to the track ahead of Kanaan but the Brazilian was able to get back by on hot tires compared to Rahal’s cold tires.  He moved into second when Kanaan made his second stop before Rahal made his on Lap 26. The same scenario happened and Rahal beat him on track but was passed by Kanaan right after due to being on cold tires.  He was on scuffed red tires and Pagenaud was able to pass him for third on Lap 34 with the help of Push to Pass.  He made his third stop on Lap 39 and he was unable to get back on track ahead of Kanaan but got ahead of Helio Castroneves for fourth. On the restart from Conor Daly’s crash, he held fourth but was able to pass Pagenaud for third on Lap 46 of 50. He held the position and finished third… He finished third in the 2007 Champ Car race after starting fourth with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing…  An electrical failure in the season-finale Atlantic Championship race in 2006 at Road America after starting third led to a runner-up finish in the title fight with eventual champion Simon Pagenaud after he retired in 20th place…  Rahal also competed in two Formula BMW events here in 2004 and once in Star Mazda in 2005.

“I just love going to Road America. I have spent a ton of time there in my lifetime, and just find it to be the best track in this country. I am excited to join my dad and all of my family up there this weekend to enjoy the races just like we always have done growing up!  I have always enjoyed the race there and I think that’s why I have had some success. Having said that, a win would mean a ton to me. I would love to get it for my GEHL team this weekend!  With GEHL and Manitowoc being so close by, it’s a huge race weekend for us too.”

TAKUMA AT ROAD AMERICA

The 2018 KOHLER Grand Prix will be Takuma Sato’s third race at the four-mile, 14-turn course. His best start and finish came in 2016 with A.J. Foyt Racing when he started 15th and jumped up to eighth early in the race before an electrical issue limited his finish to 17th place.  Last year he started 20th and finished 19th with Andretti Autosport. He enjoys the many challenges the course provides to Indy car drivers.

“Road America has a couple of ultra, high-speed corners like the carousel, kink and unsighted Bill Mitchell bend. They are definitely some of the most challenging corners. The track flows so well and has a combination of a tight bend with a long straight followed by big braking areas that makes a great overtaking opportunity so the racing is always an exciting one there.  That’s one of my favorite parts and the fans are so enthusiastic!  Driving this fast track is just huge fun.  Road America is a beautiful, great race course.”

RAHAL AND SATO ON RECENT TEST AT ROAD AMERICA

Last Wednesday, June 13, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato tested at Road America. Other fulltime drivers who joined them included James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens and Matheus Leist. Both believe it provided a good baseline to start from on Friday at Road America.

“The test went well in the end,” said Rahal. “We didn’t start off the best, but I do think we found a few things that can really help us as we go forward. I am excited for this aero package on a long track like Road America. I think the passing will be great, the cars will look awesome and will be fast!”

“I think the test went well,” added Sato. “It was a little confusing as there were two specs of tires and the differences of each were more than expected but we were able to cover multiple setups and found a good direction.  There were not enough teams to directly compare ourselves to at the test but we made a good progress so I believe we should be competitive at Road America.”

POINTS BATTLE AFTER 9 OF 17 RACES

Heading into Round 10 of 17 at the KOHLER Grand Prix, Rahal has a total of 250 points and is ranked sixth overall.  He trails leader Scott Dixon by 107 (357) and fifth place Josef Newgarden by 39 (289).  Takuma Sato is 13th with 169.

 “I have high hopes for the next eight races,” said Rahal. “We have had a solid start to the season, but no wins. We need wins, we need podiums, and I hope we can make that happen here very soon.”

Rahal and Sato Finished Sixth and Seventh in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

DXC Technology 600 – Texas Motor Speedway

Verizon IndyCar Series

RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, June 9, 2018

  

RAHAL AND SATO FINISHED SIXTH AND SEVENTH IN THE DXC TECHNOLOGY 600 AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fleet Cost & Care Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Overall I can’t complain too much about finishing sixth. The Fleet Cost & Care team did a good job with strategy, we did a good job in the pits and the car was pretty good. We were able to make some moves but as everybody could see, it was hard out there today to get a whole lot done. We’ve got to work on the aero package this week and move forward to allow us to follow a little bit easier but overall I can’t be too unhappy with that.  We salvaged another really good result out of a really tough start. We’ll keep our heads down and move on.”

 

  • FAST FACTS: Started 20th and took the opportunity to pit during the first caution for a fire on Leist’s car on Lap 9 after running 19th. This enabled him to stretch his fuel and cycle into the lead on Lap 68 before making his second stop on Lap 72 and returning to the track in 14th.  He took over 13th when Veach made contact and then into 12th when Newgarden pit due to a tire going down. The field had been watching for tire wear, particularly on the right front and rear, and Rahal reported a vibration on lap 101/248. As the next pit cycle began, he moved up to second by Lap 127 before making his stop on L128. Her returned to the track in 13th place and moved up to eight when a caution came out for Wickens and Carpenter, who made contact on Lap 173. At this point, he was in seventh and a lap down but was waved around before he made his next pit stop on L183.  When the race restarted, he held seventh place and another caution came out for Power and Claman De Melo who made contact as Claman De Melo was passing on the high side. He was in sixth and the team elected to pit for new tires when the pits opened. The race was restarted on Lap 215/248 and Rahal maintained his position until the checkered flag… In his previous 10 races here, his best start came in 2012 of third and best finish is his win in 2016… 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 moved from seventh to sixth in series point standings with a total of 250 points.

 

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 ABeam Consulting Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a tough day. Obviously the key today was managing the tires. Unfortunately half way through my stint we had a huge problem on the rear so I had to come in to change the tires and that put us two laps down. After that I think the team did a great job to work through it and we got two laps back in the end and fought for position.  Finishing seventh is a solid finish but starting where we did we wanted to be a little higher but I think it was a solid day.  Thank you to ABeam Consulting for being the primary sponsor for this race. It was great to see the guests and of course I think the car was one of the best looking.  It was a great team effort overall.”

 

  • FAST FACTS: Started ninth and ran mostly in the top-10 other than pit cycles. The field was monitoring tire wear, particularly on the right front and rear tires, and Sato had to make his second pit stop early for new tires which put him two laps down.  Later in the race he received a wave around during the caution for Wickens and Carpenter and another for the caution for contact between Power and Claman De Melo to be on the lead lap with approx. 35 laps to go while ninth.  After the restart, he passed Jones and then took over seventh when Newgarden served a drive through penalty for jumping the restart.  He took the checkered flag in seventh place… In his nine previous races here, Takuma has a best start of fourth place, two times (2016 with A.J. Foyt Racing; 2011 with KVRT) and has earned two top-10 finishes with the best being fifth place in 2011 with KVRT.  He is expecting another exciting race at Texas Motor Speedway… Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN 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). He moved from 14th to 13th in series point standings with 169.

 

NEXT UP:  After five consecutive weeks of racing action, the series will take next weekend off. Before then, the team will participate in a test at Road America on Wednesday before returning for the IndyCar Series race at Road America on June 17.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Extends Contract with Graham Rahal in a Multi Year Deal

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING EXTENDS CONTRACT WITH GRAHAM RAHAL IN A MULTI YEAR DEAL

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 8, 2018) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced a multi-year contract extension with driver Graham Rahal today.  Rahal has driven for the team full time since 2013 and has earned six wins, 27 podium finishes and 48 top-5 finishes in his Indy car career to date.  In the past three Verizon IndyCar Series seasons, he has finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in season-ending standings and two of those seasons was the highest ranked Honda-powered driver and was second highest in the other.

“It’s nice to continue the consistency we’ve had in the program,” said Graham Rahal. “All of this is thanks to the sponsors that have given our team the stability to allow me to sign for five years. Obviously that is a long time. For me as a driver, it’s great to have that commitment and it’s great for our sponsors in terms of long term planning and obviously due to their current commitment this was possible. It’s always been a dream of mine to win the Indy 500 with this team, my dad, Mike and Dave. We have been able to win races together and hopefully we will be able to add many more wins going forward.”

“I have had Graham drive for me since he was 17 years old in the Atlantic Series,” added Michael Lanigan, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. “He has won in every series we have participated in together and I am very pleased to work together for the next five years. He is, and has grown to be, the most complete professional both on and off the race track and I am very proud to have him on board for many more years to come.”

The 2018 season is the 12th in a top-tier open wheel racing series for the 29-year-old, who became the youngest winner in major auto racing history when he drove to victory in the 2008 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at the age of 19.  Since 2015, he has won five IndyCar Series races.

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