Archives for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing PR

Jack Harvey Joins Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as the Driver of the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda

JACK HARVEY JOINS RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AS THE DRIVER OF THE NO. 45 HY-VEE HONDA

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (October 11, 2021) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Bassingham, England native Jack Harvey, 28, will pilot the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda beginning with the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in a multi-year deal.

Hy-Vee, Inc., an employee-owned supermarket chain that operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states, has been the primary sponsor of the No. 15 and No. 45 entries for 11 races with the team since 2020, and will expand their program to become a full-season primary sponsor of the No. 45 entry beginning in 2022 in a multi-year agreement. They will also be a team-wide associate sponsor.

Hy-Vee first joined the team as the primary sponsor of Graham Rahal’s entry for Race 2 at the Iowa Speedway in 2020 where he finished third. The company was also the primary sponsor of the team’s entry for Spencer Pigot at the Indy 500 and an associate sponsor of Rahal’s entry for the legendary race. In 2021, they have been a primary sponsor at 9 races: the Indy 500, Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader and Mid-Ohio races with Santino Ferrucci, at Road America and World Wide Technology Raceway with Graham Rahal and at Portland, Laguna Seca and Long Beach with Oliver Askew.

In 2022, Harvey will begin his third full season in INDYCAR. His best start to date is second place in the 2021 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and his best finish is third in the 2019 Indianapolis Grand Prix. In 2021, he earned four top-five starts with a best of second place on the Indianapolis road course and earned six top-10 finishes with his best coming at St. Petersburg and Portland of fourth place.

The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on February 25-27. The 17-race schedule includes the Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 on Saturday, July 23, and the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 on Sunday, July 24 – both at Iowa Speedway. Hy-Vee will provide broad support for the doubleheader event through a wide-ranging partnership that will bring INDYCAR racing back to the 0.875-mile Iowa Speedway, located near their headquarters in Des Moines, after a one-year hiatus. For more information about the series or team, visit www.indycar.com and www.rahal.com.

QUOTEBOARD:

JACK HARVEY, Driver of the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. I’ve been working towards this moment for my entire career and I’m so honored and thankful for the trust Bobby, Mike, David and Piers (Phillips, president) have placed in me. Hy-Vee has massively committed to elevating INDYCAR as a series and I’m honored to be representing their brand on track in the No. 45. I’m eager to get to work with Graham and the entire team. We have common goals of competing for wins and championships, and I’m confident we’ll be contending from the drop of the green flag next year. This is an exciting next chapter, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.”

RANDY EDEKER, Hy-Vee’s Chairman of the Board, CEO and President: “Our ongoing partnership with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing continues to be a success. Over the past two years, we’ve enjoyed being a part of a sport that continues to see its fan base grow substantially year after year. Now, as we look ahead to the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, we look forward to hosting our own doubleheader event at the Iowa Speedway and seeing the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda take the track in the nationally televised event.”

BOBBY RAHAL, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: “I can’t tell you how pleased I am to welcome Jack to our team. I first heard of him during his time in Indy Lights. He has a great record of success over the years in all forms of racing so I’m pleased that he agreed to join our team. He and Graham will work well together and be a strong foundation for our driver lineup that will raise not only the level of each driver individually but of the team as a result. I respect and appreciate his commitment and work ethic to racing on and off the track which is so key. And I also respect the way he deals with people – friendly and respectful. I think we’re going to have a lot of success together and I very much look forward to having him with us.”

MIKE LANIGAN, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: “I have heard nothing but good things about Jack and I think he will work well with our driver line up. I think its important that they mesh well together, and I know Graham has a lot of respect for him. He has shown a lot of potential and we’re looking forward to building on that. We welcome him to the team.”

About Hy-Vee, Inc.
Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $11 billion annually. The supermarket chain is synonymous with quality, variety, convenience, healthy lifestyles, culinary expertise and superior customer service. Hy-Vee ranks in the Top 10 Most Trusted Brands and has been named one of America’s Top 5 favorite grocery stores. The company’s more than 90,000 employees provide “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle” to customers every day. For additional information, visit www.hy-vee.com.

About Jack Harvey
Harvey will begin his third full season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2022. The 2021 season marked Harvey’s fifth year of competing with Meyer Shank Racing (MSR). He began his Indy car journey in 2017 with MSR at the Indianapolis 500. The relationship grew into a partial six race season in 2018 which saw Harvey’s best finish of 12th on the streets of Long Beach. In 2019, MSR expanded its IndyCar program to 10 races with Harvey. He got off to a fast start, making his first top-10 finish at the season opener in St. Petersburg. The Brit’s success didn’t end there as he went on to score his first ever IndyCar podium finish during the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) road course. The 2020 season was Harvey’s first full-season IndyCar campaign and he made two back-to-back front row starts at the INDYCAR Grand Prix and Road America. Despite several instances of bad racing luck, Harvey closed out the season with six top-10 finishes. In 2021, he earned four top-five starts with a best of second place on the IMS road course and he earned six top-10 finishes with his best of fourth place coming at St. Petersburg and Portland.

Prior to joining the INDYCAR SERIES, Harvey was the Indy Lights runner-up in 2014 and 2015, winning six races over the two seasons. He is one of six drivers who have won on the oval and road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – winning one of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis races and the Freedom 100 in 2015 while racing in Indy Lights. He has won 10 racing championships in his career, including the 2012 British Formula 3 Championship.

About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2022, the team will move to a purpose-build, 115,000 square foot, state-of-the-art racing headquarters in Zionsville, Indiana and compete in its 31st year of competition. The team will attempt to add to its 29 Indy car wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice and the 2020 Indy 500 with Takuma Sato — their 33 poles, 108 podium finishes and 1992 series championship. The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. Since 2014, BMW Team RLL has competed in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and has brought their total to 22 wins – including the 2019 and 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance races, 28 poles and 93 podium finishes as well as a second-place finish in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017. The team was also the 2020 Michelin Endurance Champions. For 2021, the team is competing for back-to-back Michelin Endurance Championships.

Sato, Rahal and Askew Finished 9th, 16th & 22nd in the Acura GP of Long Beach; Rahal & Sato Finished 7th & 11th in 2021 INDYCAR Standings

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingAcura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Round 16 of 16 in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, September 26, 2021


SATO, RAHAL AND ASKEW FINISHED 9TH, 16TH AND 22ND IN THE ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH SEASON FINALE; RAHAL AND SATO FINISHED SEVENTH AND 11TH IN THE STANDINGS

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Total Quartz Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach has come to a close, and that also means the season has come to a close. So first off I want to thank all of our guys. Our team did an amazing job this year to put their heads down and to move forward frankly. I think in a lot of areas we improved this year as a team. Our performances got better, even this weekend we did not start competitive and I think we ended up with the fastest race lap. That doesn’t mean much when you finish 16th, but it shows improvement. It shows when we come back here we know what to do to move ourselves forward. All that being said, I’m super proud of our organization for all that they’ve done. Thank you to our sponsors, they are the heart and soul of this team and they keep us going. We couldn’t be more grateful to each and every one of you, United Rentals and everything we’ve done for Turns For Troops, Total Quartz our sponsor here at Long Beach, Fifth Third Bank, One Cure, Fleet Cost & Care, Hy-Vee, Code 3 and congrats to Honda on a job well done.  I think Honda pretty-well dominated this championship start to finish, so I’m super proud of them as well. 
            “To get into the race today, the first yellow we decided to pit. Normally INDYCAR by the rules, when they open the pits, they never go green the next lap. They changed the rules today and that is what it is, we have to be prepared for that and unfortunately yet again just like the Indy GP, take one, we started 15-20 seconds behind the pack. Things were shaping up quite well actually for us to maybe even creep towards P10 until Oliver’s yellow with Conor. That pretty much put a dagger in our race.  From there we were able to make up four or five spots after the restart but just not quite enough. In the end, it was certainly a strong year for us. We’re going to put our heads down and figure out how to be better as we go forward, how to improve the team, how to get more competitive in all phases, and come back strong for next year. We were P7 in the championship, congrats to Alex on the championship, and we’ll focus on being a tough challenger and competitor next year.”

  • FAST FACTSStarted 19th and moved into 18th when title contender O’Ward was hit in the tight Turn 1 hairpin on the opening lap. The team elected to top off during that caution and he made his first stop on Lap 2 but the race returned to green quicker than expected and he had to hustle to catch up to the pack rather than use the restart as an opportunity to pass cars. After a caution from Laps 20-23 to later remove O’Ward’s stopped car and for Ericsson, from Laps 26-29, Rahal moved into second place from Laps 27-33 before he made his second stop on Lap 34. It had appeared that a caution might come out for rookie Ilott who spun so the team wanted to get into the pits before that.  He cycled back into second by Lap 58 and was behind teammate Askew, who pit on Lap 60. Rahal was still in the lead but on his in-lap when Askew and Daly brought out the caution from Laps 62-64 after each made contact in Turn 9 so the timing was to the team’s detriment. He pit on Lap 64 when the pits opened and dropped to 20th place. For the final stint, he worked his way into a 16th place finish… Was his 14th Champ or Indy car race here and 15th overall … His top finish is second place in 2013 with RLL after starting 11th and top start is fifth in 2007 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and he finished eighth after slow fuel flow pit strategy… A recap of results is available upon request… He also competed in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here… 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). He finished the season ranked 7th in series point standings with 389 points.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a tough, long race and we finished 9th today so a top-10 finish. The boys did a great job. I think we had a really good start and then a couple of yellows and we were in really good shape. But I think on the third yellow we basically got caught and lost a bunch of positions. After that we tried to recover a lot.  We trimmed today and obviously the car was really sketchy and all the way we fought really hard. The 30 boys did a fantastic job, thank you everyone for your support all year long.”

  • FAST FACTS: Takuma started 16th and climbed into 11th by the end of the opening lap after avoiding being collected in the multi-car contact at the stop in the Turn 1 hairpin that included title contender O’Ward. He claimed 10th when Jones was penalized for avoidable contact and began to move to the front as others pit. He He took over fourth place during the caution to remove O’Ward’s car and was second during the caution for Ericsson before he made his first stop under that caution on Lap 27. On the next stint, he climbed from 17th to 13th by Lap by Lap 42 and cycled into fourth before his next stop on Lap 56. He returned to the track in 11th and moved into ninth on Lap 65 which he held until the checkered flag on Lap 85… Was his 11th race here… His highest start and finish here came in 2013 with A.J. Foyt Enterprises when he led 50 laps and won from a fourth-place start. The race prior to that was with RLL in 2012 and he led 16 laps and was third when he was hit by Hunter-Reay on the final lap and finished eighth after starting eighth.  His other top-10 start came in 2016 with Foyt (8th) and other top-10 finish was fifth in 2016, also with Foyt… 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 TEN 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)…  He moved from 12th to an 11th place rank in series point standings with 324 points.

OLIVER ASKEW, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was definitely a weekend to forget, but nevertheless it was an honor to be racing here for the first time and for Rahal Letterman Lanigan in the Hy-Vee No. 45. It was a great opportunity for me to race here and we got some really good showings in the races in the past but not so much this weekend. We’ll put it behind us and it was a good experience to be on this course. It’s been phenomenal working with everyone at RLL, onto the off-season now and to figure out what happens next year.
            (On incident with Daly:) “I was on cold tires out of the pit lane, and I knew we were fighting for position there so I was going to be really aggressive, he was being really aggressive, and I was in the marbles all the way down the straight away and didn’t have the braking grip heading into Turn 9 there. You can always look back and probably could have done something different. I put him in a bad place, and ultimately took us both out I think, but I think it was a hard racing incident and sorry to him.”

  • FAST FACTS: Was penalized in qualifying after impeding Grosjean’s lap and ultimately started 28th in the field. He gained a few spots on the start and utilized the first caution for the multi-car contact in Lap 1 to pit to top off on fuel on Lap 3 when the pits opened. He had a steady race and cycled into the lead for Laps 57-59 before his third stop but on his out lap, he and Conor Daly fought for position and both got into the marbles and lost traction and stopped on course temporarily – with Askew in the tires. Once he resumed, he pit to replace his damaged nose and ultimately finished 22nd… It was Askew’s racing debut on the street of Long Beach in his third start with the team. He qualified ninth at Portland but was involved in a Lap 1 incident and was later hit from behind and retired from the event. He went on to match his best INDYCAR start of fifth place for the Firestone Grand Prix of Laguna Seca. In the race, he was passed on the opening lap by four cars and ran 9th.  He battled with Grosjean and others before he regained fifth place and made his first of three stops on Lap 15. He lost some spots after a problem on the inside front and returned to the track in 18th place. He recovered a bit and cycled into fifth place before his second stop on Lap 41. He returned to the track in 13th place and steadily climbed up the order ahead of McLaughlin and others to fourth before his third stop on Lap 69.  He ran in eighth place the majority on the final stint but was passed by Newgarden and took the checkered flag ninth, for a top-10 finish. 
  • Comments Off on Sato, Rahal and Askew Finished 9th, 16th & 22nd in the Acura GP of Long Beach; Rahal & Sato Finished 7th & 11th in 2021 INDYCAR Standings
  • Email to friend
  • Blog it
  • Stay updated

Sato, Rahal and Askew to Start 16th, 19th and 28th in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach INDYCAR Season Finale

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Round 16 of 16 in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, September 25, 2021

SATO, RAHAL AND ASKEW TO START 16TH, 19TH AND 28TH IN THE ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH SEASON FINALE

1) Josef Newgarden 1:08.2241 / 103.846 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
16) Takuma Sato 1:09.3814 / 102.114 mph (Group 2, Round 1)
19) Graham Rahal 1:09.3998 / 102.087 mph (Group 1, Round 1)
28) Oliver Askew 1:10.0178 / 101.186 mph (Group 2, Round 1)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Total Quartz Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We actually ended up with the fastest lap time of our teammates but unfortunately in Group 1 it didn’t count. As Harvey actually crashed behind me, but when he crashed behind me they called the red, so I didn’t get to complete the lap. So unfortunately, we’re going to start 19th, which is not very good at all. We’ve struggled all weekend, it’s been no secret. What surprised me was to see Takuma and Oliver not be able to go quicker. I thought that they would have a good chance to improve based on the information that we relayed. We’re going to work hard to get the Total Quartz machine to the front.”


FAST FACTS: Will be his 14th Champ or Indy car race here and 15th overall … His top finish is second place in 2013 with RLL after starting 11th and top start is fifth in 2007 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and he finished eighth after slow fuel flow pit strategy… A recap of results is available upon request… He also competed in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here… 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 is currently ranked 7th in series point standings with 374 points.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “In qualifying we had more temperature. It was nice and sunny, a great atmosphere but unfortunately it somewhat affected our balance and grip level so we struggled in the car. It started fighting and then we just couldn’t get great speed. But I think we have good pace, there’s some indication of good pace on the longer runs as well as with primary tires with my Q1 speed. Hopefully tomorrow’s warmup we will work hard to get the car speed up and hopefully we have a competitive day tomorrow.”


FAST FACTS: Will be his 11th race here… His highest start and finish here came in 2013 with A.J. Foyt Enterprises when he led 50 laps and won from a fourth-place start. The race prior to that was with RLL in 2012 and he led 16 laps and was third when he was hit by Hunter-Reay on the final lap and finished eighth after starting eighth. His other top-10 start came in 2016 with Foyt (8th) and other top-10 finish was fifth in 2016, also with Foyt… 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 TEN 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)… He is 12th in series point standings with 302 points.
OLIVER ASKEW, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was not the greatest qualifying for us on the No. 45 Hy-Vee car. It was very difficult out there. We missed the setup a little bit and unfortunately didn’t advance into the fast 12. Then a miscommunication caused us to get a penalty for impeding another car so we just need to put it behind us now and move on to tomorrow.”


FAST FACTS: Brought out the red flag after he brushed the wall with his right rear wheel and stopped on course, which ended his session early… Askew is making his racing debut on the street of Long Beach in his third start with the team. He qualified ninth at Portland but was involved in a Lap 1 incident and was later hit from behind and retired from the event. He went on to match his best INDYCAR start of fifth place for the Firestone Grand Prix of Laguna Seca. In the race, he was passed on the opening lap by four cars and ran 9th. He battled with Grosjean and others before he regained fifth place and made his first of three stops on Lap 15. He lost some spots after a problem on the inside front and returned to the track in 18th place. He recovered a bit and cycled into fifth place before his second stop on Lap 41. He returned to the track in 13th place and steadily climbed up the order ahead of McLaughlin and others to fourth before his third stop on Lap 69. He ran in eighth place the majority on the final stint but was passed by Newgarden and took the checkered flag ninth, for a top-10 finish.


3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 20 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: This marks the 21st time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete in the main event. In total, the team has won three poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place four times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013) and earned six podiums here (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002 & G. Rahal 2013; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999). Although the team didn’t compete in Indy car races here from 2004-2011 while they fielded a fulltime entry in the Indy Racing League (2004-2008), they did compete in the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic races with Danica Patrick and in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race.

Practice 1 for the Acura GP of Long Beach Included the Usual Session Stoppages; More to Come for Rahal, Sato and Askew on Saturday

Photo Courtesy of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingAcura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Round 4 of 17 in the NTT IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, September 24, 2021

PRACTICE 1 FOR THE ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH INCLUDED THE USUAL SESSION STOPPAGES; MORE TO COME ON SATURDAY FOR RAHAL, SATO AND ASKEW

1)         Colton Herta              1:09.2680 / 102.281 mph       
19)       Graham Rahal           1:10.5113 / 100.478 mph       
21)       Takuma Sato             1:10.7675 / 100.114 mph                   
26)       Oliver Askew             1:11.2253 / 99.470 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Total Quartz Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Practice 1 has come to a close. It’s not the start that we wanted for the weekend I think. Frankly we didn’t start well in Laguna either, but I think we’ve just got to make a few tweaks. It was kind of a messy session on my end. I think I only got one or two clear laps. I’m happy that my fastest lap was on an out lap and well as my very last one that matched it. We saw that a lot of other guys ran new tires towards the end of the session and we did not. So, I think we’ll be okay in the end but we definitely have some work to do tonight to make the Total Quartz car a little quicker.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 14th Champ or Indy car race here and 15th overall … His top finish is second place in 2013 with RLL after starting 11th and top start is fifth in 2007 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and he finished eighth after slow fuel flow pit strategy… A recap of results is available upon request… He also competed in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here… 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 is currently ranked 7th in series point standings with 374 points.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a short session again for one last race (of the season) we come back here after nearly two-and-a-half years. It’s a really nice, great atmosphere and there is fantastic support from the fans. The session was a bit tricky with so many yellows and people going off all over the place and red flag’s so I think we only achieved a quarter of what we wanted. But just get back to rhythm, and I think we need a long list to look at it for tomorrow but it’s really nice to be back in Long Beach.

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 11th race here… His highest start and finish here came in 2013 with A.J. Foyt Enterprises when he led 50 laps and won from a fourth-place start. The race prior to that was with RLL in 2012 and he led 16 laps and was third when he was hit by Hunter-Reay on the final lap and finished eighth after starting eighth.  His other top-10 start came in 2016 with Foyt (8th) and other top-10 finish was fifth in 2016, also with Foyt… 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 TEN 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)…  He is 12th in series point standings with 302 points.

OLIVER ASKEW, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Unfortunately Practice 1 ended a bit early for us. I made an error through Turn 1 and clipped the wall. But we did get some good quality running there in the beginning so I think tomorrow we can put our best foot forward and continue from there.”

  • FAST FACTS: Askew is making his racing debut on the street of Long Beach in his third start with the team. He qualified ninth at Portland but was involved in a Lap 1 incident and was later hit from behind and retired from the event. He went on to match his best INDYCAR start of fifth place for the Firestone Grand Prix of Laguna Seca. In the race, he was passed on the opening lap by four cars and ran 9th.  He battled with Grosjean and others before he regained fifth place and made his first of three stops on Lap 15. He lost some spots after a problem on the inside front and returned to the track in 18th place. He recovered a bit and cycled into fifth place before his second stop on Lap 41. He returned to the track in 13th place and steadily climbed up the order ahead of McLaughlin and others to fourth before his third stop on Lap 69.  He ran in eighth place the majority on the final stint but was passed by Newgarden and took the checkered flag ninth, for a top-10 finish. 

3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 20 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: This marks the 21st time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete in the main event.  In total, the team has won three poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place four times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013) and earned six podiums here (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002 & G. Rahal 2013; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999).  Although the team didn’t compete in Indy car races here from 2004-2011 while they fielded a fulltime entry in the Indy Racing League (2004-2008), they did compete in the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic races with Danica Patrick and in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race.

NEXT UP:  Practice will take place Saturday morning from 9:00-9:45 a.m. PDT and qualifying will take place from 12:05-1:20 PM PDT.  Peacock will begin live coverage of qualifying at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com. The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBC Sports beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET Sunday, September 26.

  • Comments Off on Practice 1 for the Acura GP of Long Beach Included the Usual Session Stoppages; More to Come for Rahal, Sato and Askew on Saturday
  • Email to friend
  • Blog it
  • Stay updated

Rahal, Sato and Askew Aim to End the 2021 INDYCAR Season on a High in the Season-Finale Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach, California
Round 16 of 16 in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES

DATE: Friday – Sunday, September 24-26, 2021

PRACTICE BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium on Friday from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. ET, Saturday from 12:00 – 12:45 p.m. ET and Sunday from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. ET. Also live on the INDYCAR Radio Network (IRN) and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).

QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Live on Peacock Premium, the IRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis) from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBC Sports on Sunday, September 26 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET. And also on Peacock Premium, IRN, Sirius 211 and XM 205

TRACK LAYOUT: 1.968-mile, 11-turn street course
RACE LENGTH: 85 laps / 167.28 miles
2019 WINNER: Alexander Rossi
2019 POLESITTER: Alexander Rossi (1:06.4811 / 106.569 mph)

RLL’S BEST START / FINISH AT LONG BEACH: 3 poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003) / 2nd – four times (B. Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013)

RAHAL’S BEST START / FINISH AT LONG BEACH: 5th in 2007 / 2nd in 2013; will be his 14th Indy car race here and 15th overall
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 3 Poles – St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit (street) 2017 / 6 Wins – St. Pete 2008, Fontana (oval; 500 miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas (oval) 2016; Detroit Race 1 2017, Detroit Race 2 2017

SATO’S BEST START / FINISH AT LONG BEACH: 4th / 1st — both in 2013 with A.J. Foyt Enterprises; will be his 11th race here
SATO’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 10 Poles – 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, Barber (road) 2019, Texas (oval) 2019, Gateway (oval) 2020 – Race 2 / 6 Wins – Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017), Portland (road) 2018, Barber 2019, Gateway (oval) 2019, Indianapolis 500 (2020)

ASKEW’S BEST LONG BEACH START / FINISH: First INDYCAR race at the track as well as his first race of any kind here.
ASKEW’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH: 5th (Indy GP 2020, 5th Laguna Seca 2021) / 3rd at Iowa Speedway (Race 1) 2020

NEWS & NOTES:

21ST INDY CAR RACE IN LONG BEACH
The 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (AGPLB) marks the 21st time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete in the event. Although the team didn’t compete in Indy car races here from 2004-2011 while they fielded a fulltime entry in the Indy Racing League (2004-2008), they did compete in the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic races with Danica Patrick and in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race. From 2009-2019, the team competed on the streets of Long Beach in the GTLM class of the ALMS/IMSA with BMW Team RLL and as finished on the podium each year but 2016-2019 although they started from pole in 2016 and led all three of those races. The venue is still the most successful for the team on the current IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule with wins in 2011, 2013 and 2015, eight podium finishes and five poles in 11 years.

In the RLL’s 20 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 34 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain (2002-2003), Takuma Sato (2012, 2018-2019), Graham Rahal (2013-2019), James Jakes (2013), Mike Conway (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014). In total, the team won three poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place four times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013) and earned six podiums (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002 & G. Rahal 2013; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999). The team has entered the No. 15 Total Quartz Honda for Graham Rahal, the No. 30 Panasonic / Shield Cleansers Honda for Takuma Sato and the No 45 Hy-Vee Honda for Oliver Askew in this year’s race.

GRAHAM AND LONG BEACH
The 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be Graham’s 14th Champ/Indy car race here and 15th overall. His best IndyCar start here is fifth in 2007 and best finish is second place in 2013. In 2019, he started sixth in the 85-lap race and got by Pagenaud on the start for fifth place. He was the highest ranked driver that opted to start the race on the primary tires. He cycled up to third as the first pit stops started before he made his stop on Lap 28. He reclaimed fifth place but moved into fourth on Lap 34 when Power had an issue and fell back. He held fourth until his second stop on Lap 55 and climbed up to third on Lap 58 after previous third place runner had a fuel issue on his stop. He held third for the next 28 laps and in the closing stages of the race, Dixon passed Hunter-Reay for fourth on Lap 82 of 85 and closed on Rahal on the final lap but was unable to pass. After the race, the series ruled that Rahal had blocked him and he had to give up the position so he was scored in fourth. Rahal is looking forward to returning to Southern California.
“I’m excited to get back to Long Beach. I think it’s one of the most iconic venues we go to and one of the crown jewel’s of our sport. It’s always great to go back there. With Courtney being from Southern California too, there are a lot of hometown friends and family, and fans that come out. It’s always a lot of fun to have them there and see that support. We’d like to get back on the podium and get a win here before the end of the year. We’re pushing really hard to make that possible. We’ve definitely got some momentum going here. The team has done a great job at the end of the season to ourselves into a much better position. For us for the final race, we’re just going to try to go win. Hopefully we’ll be able to get it done with Total and all of our partners. To be able to push hard, and be able to start and finish up toward the front has been great but I do also expect that we need to continue to improve our street course package. Long Beach is a good opportunity for us to finish the season on a high note, start 2022 and get some momentum going there as well. We’re looking forward to that.”

TAKUMA RETURNS TO THE SITE OF HIS FIRST INDYCAR WIN
The 2021 race will mark the 11th here for Takuma Sato. His highest start and finish here came in 2013 with A.J. Foyt Enterprises when he led 50 laps and won from a fourth-place start. The race prior to that was with RLL in 2012 and he led 16 laps and was third when he was hit by Hunter-Reay on the final lap and finished eighth after starting eighth. Other top-10 starts came in 2016 with Foyt (8th) and another top-10 finish was fifth in 2016, also with Foyt. He started and finished 8th in his previous race here in 2019 with RLL. Like everyone, Sato is looking forward to returning to Long Beach after not competing here in 2020.
“Going back to Long Beach is fantastic news. We are all looking forward to it, not just because it’s a fantastic venue but I have always had a special memory because of my first INDYCAR win there back in 2013. Long Beach is just beautiful, a challenging track, and a great atmosphere. We have been very competitive in street courses relatively. We always find good pace so definitely the Acura Long Beach Grand Prix is one of our favorites. We missed it last year but hopefully we have an opportunity to show our speed, so I am definitely looking forward to it.
“Well, nevertheless if its spring or autumn, I think Long Beach will be beautiful. We just kept the best one for the end maybe. Obviously during the pandemic everyone had a challenging time, but I appreciate the entire organization for making the Long Beach Grand Prix happen. It’s going to be a fantastic venue and fantastic race, and now we are carrying great momentum in the last few races. As a team, we’ve finished very high so it is definitely going to be a highlight of 2021.”

OLIVER ASKEW MAKES HIS LONG BEACH RACING DEBUT
Oliver Askew will make his racing debut on the street of Long Beach in his third start with the team. He qualified ninth at Portland but was involved in a Lap 1 incident and was later hit from behind and retired from the event. He went on to match his best INDYCAR start of fifth place for the Firestone Grand Prix of Laguna Seca. In the race, he was passed on the opening lap by four cars and ran 9th. He battled with Grosjean and others before he regained fifth place and made his first of three stops on Lap 15. He lost some spots after a problem on the inside front and returned to the track in 18th place. He recovered a bit and cycled into fifth place before his second stop on Lap 41. He returned to the track in 13th place and steadily climbed up the order ahead of McLaughlin and others to fourth before his third stop on Lap 69. He ran in eighth place the majority on the final stint but was passed by Newgarden and took the checkered flag ninth, for a top-10 finish. He is looking forward to making his racing debut at the iconic event.
“Happy Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach week! I hope everyone is looking forward to this weekend as much as I am. I’ve never actually raced at this street course before, so I’m very excited to get there and experience it. I’ve been to the race as a fan so it’s an absolute honor to be competing in this event this weekend – it’s one of the most iconic street races in the world and we’ve built up some momentum over the last couple of weekends with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan crew on the No. 45 car with Hy-Vee. I think we can have another strong weekend here in Long Beach so I’m looking forward to it.”

GRAHAM ON THE MOMENTUM FOR INDYCAR
“The series is on a high and headed in the right direction. If you look at next year’s calendar, you’ve got 17 races and 14 of those are on NBC’s main channel. That’s great stuff. It’s been great to have new sponsors like Hy-Vee join us and continue to expand their program and I think there is a lot more interest. The series has good momentum.”

POINT STANDINGS AFTER 15 OF 16 RACES
Heading into the season finale, Rahal is ranked seventh in series point standings with a total of 374. He trails sixth place Colton Herta by 28 (402) and is 21 ahead of seventh place Simon Pagenaud (353). Takuma Sato is 12th with 302. He is 35 points out of ninth place Will Power (337) and 16 ahead of 13th place Scott McLaughlin.
“The season’s been good,” said Rahal. “I think we’ve been very consistent, very strong this year overall but we haven’t been able to get a win so I know our focus is solely on that right now. In points we’re seventh and we aren’t able to go forward much and can’t fall too far back so we want to just try to get a win and push for that at this stage.”

Rahal Finished Fourth in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey; Askew and Sato Both Ran at the Front and Finished 9th and 27th

Photo Courtesy of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingFirestone Grand Prix of Monterey
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – September 19, 2021

RAHAL FINISHED FOURTH IN THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY; ASKEW AND SATO BOTH RAN AT THE FRONT AND FINISHED 9TH AND 27TH

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “A fourth place finish for us in Monterey in the United Rentals machine. It was a solid day. Obviously, we would have liked to finish on the podium or be able to challenge.  At the start I think it took us a little longer to get our momentum going through maybe into the second stint before we started to pass guys and get moving forward. Our guys were once again excellent in the pits. Squirrel (race engineer, Allan McDonald), Eddie (Jones), Brandon (Fry), all the engineers and everybody across the three cars has done a great job to get these race cars more competitive. Obviously, it would have been nice to start up front and we should’ve; it was my mistake yesterday. Starting up front would have made us potentially even a winner today. I’m super proud of our guys, super proud of the organization, we are moving forward, we are getting better. I passed more cars today then maybe any race all year. The United Rentals guys did an excellent job in the pits once again. We raised almost another $5,000 for Turns For Troops to help with Veterans. It was another solid result on the year.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal started 12th and ran as high as fourth before his first stop on Lap 18/95. The handling of his race car was better halfway through his second stint and he gained a few spots before he made his second stop from third place on Lap 40.  He pit from second place for his second stop on Lap 67 and was able to leapfrog O’Ward by staying out longer. He held third place for 11 laps before Grosjean, whose tires had six less laps on them, passed him on Lap 84/95.  He held on to finish fourth…. Was his second Indy car race here. In 2019, he started eighth and lost two positions on the start to Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci. He dropped to 11th on Lap 5 when Rosenqvist passed him and cycled as high as fifth place before his second pit stop on Lap 39. He ran 10th for the majority of his next stint before his third and final stop and came out 11th. He later lost a position to Hunter-Reay on Lap 68 of 90 and ultimately took the checkered flag 12th… His highest start of the season is fifth at Portland and his highest finish is third at Texas Motor Speedway… 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)… He is seventh in series point standings with a total of 374. 

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “So we had a very sweet race the first half of the race. We took advantage of an early pitstop for the first yellow and then the car was great. This morning I was the third fastest in warmup so totally different from yesterday’s car and it worked very well. I really enjoyed the racing, overtaking lots of cars today and we went as high as second. Our pace was exactly the same as the leader, which was very positive. But on the third stint, unfortunately I clipped the curb on the inside of the corkscrew, which I had never done but I did it somehow.  I made a mistake and spun. Then unfortunately we got tangled with Dixon and the diffuser was damaged and the track rod was broken so I came back to the pit and changed the things. But unfortunately, the car was way too damaged and we had to retire in the end. We had a great potential today to finish really high, but the last few races I think the team has found a lot of speed. It’s very positive, and hopefully we have a good race in Long Beach.”

  • FAST FACTS: After starting 23rd, he capitalized on an early caution for Rossi to make a stop on Lap 3 to switch to the faster alternate tires and top off on fuel. He began a charge through the field by passing Rosenqvist, Kellott, Bourdais, Johnson, Castroneves and others and cycled up to second place before his second stop on Lap 24. He was in 10th place when he ran wide on the curb in the corkscrew and spun.  As he was trying to resume, he made light contact with Dixon. He immediately pit to check for damage and the track rod was replaced and he rejoined the race in 27th, which he held until he retired from the race after 83 of 95 laps… Was his second race here. In 2019, he started 16th and was later running in 11th place when a caution came out for contact between Daly and Andretti on Lap 45. After the restart, Sato was hit by Ferrucci, who served a penalty for avoidable contact in Turn 2, and dropped to 21st place. Based on the positions that drivers were running in at the season finale, he was still on target to finish the season sixth in points. He moved up to 19th but later pit to check for damage to the race car from the previous incident that impacted the steering. He continued to race in an attempt to salvage points and took the checkered flag in 21st place but lost three positions in the series standings due to the double points race… 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 TEN 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)…  He is 12th in series point standings with 302 points.

OLIVER ASKEW, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We finished ninth in the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda with RLL. It was a long, very physical race.  I thought we had some good pace. Unfortunately, we lost a couple of spots there in pit lane on the first stop. I’m happy with a top-10 today. We had great pace all weekend and great momentum moving into Long Beach. We started fifth and got shuffled back a little bit on the start with the championship contenders next to me;  they were a bit ruthless. And then we had a slow pit stop unfortunately here and that lost us a couple of positions, and then the race went green to the end after that initial yellow. We made a couple of good overtakes on guys who were trying to make it on a two-stop strategy. I’m happy with today and happy with the weekend overall.”

  • FAST FACTS: After starting fifth, he was passed on the opening lap by four cars and ran 9th.  He battled with Grosjean and others before he regained fifth place and made his first of three stops on Lap 15. He lost some spots after a problem on the inside front and returned to the track in 18th place. He recovered a bit and cycled into fifth place before his second stop on Lap 41. He returned to the track in 13th place and steadily climbed up the order ahead of McLaughlin and others to fourth before his third stop on Lap 69.  He ran in eighth place the majority on the final stint but was passed by Newgarden.  Matched his best INDYCAR SERIES start of fifth place at the Indy Grand Prix in 2020… He made his first INDYCAR start at the track and his second for the team.  He qualified 9th at Portland but had an incident at the start that dropped him back and he was hit from behind by Bourdais later and retired…. He previously competed in the Indy Lights races here in 2019 with a fourth place (Race 1) and second-place finish (Race 2) as well as won the shootout for the Mazda Road to Indy scholarship in 2016.  This was the fourth INDYCAR race for him this season after substituting for Rosenqvist at Race 2 in Detroit and for VeeKay at Road America.
  • Comments Off on Rahal Finished Fourth in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey; Askew and Sato Both Ran at the Front and Finished 9th and 27th
  • Email to friend
  • Blog it
  • Stay updated

Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – September 18, 2021

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingFirestone Grand Prix of Monterey
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – September 18, 2021

ASKEW MATCHED HIS BEST INDYCAR START OF FIFTH PLACE FOR THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY; RAHAL AND SATO WILL START 12TH AND 23RD

1)         Colton Herta                1:10.7994 / 113.798 mph       
5)         Oliver Askew               1:11.8937 / 112.065 mph
12)        Graham Rahal             1:12.5932 / 110.986 mph       
23)       Takuma Sato                1:12.1443 / 111.676 mph       

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Qualifying is in the books here in Laguna Seca. I clearly spun in Group 2 and we were actually on pace to advance without a problem. That’s on me you know, I was just pushing hard and it just tracked out up Turn 6 and the car bottomed on the curb, and that was it. We just lost control. Unfortunately, we just have to focus on tomorrow. We’re going to start 12th. It was nice to advance to Q2, we were in a pretty stacked first group so to be able to get through was a great sign. We’ve got to keep our heads down and focus on what we’ve got to do tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough day. Tire deg (degradation) is going to be a major issue and hopefully we can sneak up there into the top five.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second Indy car race here. In 2019, he started eighth and lost two positions on the start to Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci. He dropped to 11th on Lap 5 when Rosenqvist passed him and cycled as high as fifth place before his second pit stop on Lap 39. He ran 10th for the majority of his next stint before his third and final stop and came out 11th. He later lost a position to Hunter-Reay on Lap 68 of 90 and ultimately took the checkered flag 12th…  His highest start of the season is fifth at Portland and his highest finish is third at Texas Motor Speedway… 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)… He is seventh in series point standings with a total of 342.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Qualifying didn’t go well at all, it was tough. We had a little difficulty in practice and weren’t really able to carry on the performance in qualifying. We predicted the direction we wanted and that was opposite of what it has been in qualifying. It was a pity but at least the teammates made a pretty good qualifying so we can share some things and figure out what we can do tomorrow. But today we had a really tough day.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here. In 2019, he started 16th and was later running in 11th place when a caution came out for contact between Daly and Andretti on Lap 45. After the restart, Sato was hit by Ferrucci, who served a penalty for avoidable contact in Turn 2, and dropped to 21st place. Based on the positions that drivers were running in at the season finale, he was still on target to finish the season sixth in points. He moved up to 19th but later pit to check for damage to the race car from the previous incident that impacted the steering. He continued to race in an attempt to salvage points and took the checkered flag in 21st place but lost three positions in the series standings due to the double points race… 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 TEN 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)…  He is 11th in series point standings with 297 points.

OLIVER ASKEW, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Fantastic qualifying here today for the Hy-Vee No. 45 guys from Rahal Letterman Lanigan. I felt really good in the car and the car complimented me as well and when you get it right around here it feels really good, when you get it wrong not as much. Today we got it right. It was a really enjoyable session and I’m looking forward to starting in the top-five tomorrow. Hopefully we have a strong run. I’m very happy with that run and obviously really happy for Hy-Vee No. 45 Honda guys and everyone at Rahal Letterman Lanigan. This is exactly what we needed – a good starting spot for tomorrow here is extremely important because, as we know, it is difficult to pass.”

  • FAST FACTS: Matched his best INDYCAR SERIES start of fifth place at the Indy Grand Prix in 2020. He is making his first INDYCAR start at the track and his second for the team.  He qualified 9th at Portland but had an incident at the start that dropped him back and he was hit from behind by Bourdais later and retired…. He previously competed in the Indy Lights races here in 2019 with a fourth place (Race 1) and second-place finish (Race 2) as well as won the shootout for the Mazda Road to Indy scholarship in 2016.  This will be the fourth INDYCAR race for him this season after substituting for Rosenqvist at Race 2 in Detroit and for VeeKay at Road America.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT LAGUNA SECA … Will mark the 14th Indy car event for RLL at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and second since 12 consecutive races here from 1992-2003. The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA races here from 2009-2020 as BMW Team RLL and has earned three wins, three poles and a total of 10 podium finishes to date – including pole and a second-place finish in 2019.  The Indy car team has earned three wins, three poles and a total of six podiums (1st – Herta 1998-1999; Papis 2001; 2nd – Herta 1996; 3rd: B. Rahal 1992, Papis 1999) as well as three straight pole positions (Herta 1997-1999).  Prior to the 2021 event, the team prepared a total of 23 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992-98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2002-03), Graham Rahal (2019) and Takuma Sato (2019).

NEXT UP:  Warm up will take place tomorrow from 9:00-9:30 AM PT and the 85 laps Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be televised live on NBC beginning at 3 PM ET Sunday, September 19.

Askew Set the Sixth Fastest Time in Practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey; Rahal and Sato Were 17th and 19th

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingFirestone Grand Prix of Monterey
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – September 17, 2021

ASKEW SET THE SIXTH FASTEST TIME IN PRACTICE FOR THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY; RAHAL AND SATO WERE 17TH AND 19TH


1)         Josef Newgarden         1:11.7125 / 112.349 mph       
6)         Oliver Askew               1:12.1516 / 111.665 mph
17)        Graham Rahal              1:12.8486 / 110.596 mph       
19)       Takuma Sato                 1:12.9923 / 110.379 mph       

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “One practice in the books at Laguna Seca. We waited quite a while to go run and just missed it on the first tire set. I was in a lot of traffic, a lot of people were and unfortunately that traffic just kind of – on the good laps I missed the tire so by the time I went it was just too late. My fastest lap was also quite sloppy. Going through the corkscrew I had a huge moment and lost two to three tenths (of a second) in the exit there which cost me a lot. It is what it is, we’re not quite good enough here this weekend so far. We’ll put our heads down tonight and try and come up with some new ideas and go back at it tomorrow.  I know with Oliver’s car they ran two sets of tires and it seemed like his second set was a lot better pace wise, much more competitive, so we are going to look at what they’re doing and hopefully get the United Rentals car up front.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second Indy car race here. In 2019, he started eighth and lost two positions on the start to Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci. He dropped to 11th on Lap 5 when Rosenqvist passed him and cycled as high as fifth place before his second pit stop on Lap 39. He ran 10th for the majority of his next stint before his third and final stop and came out 11th. He later lost a position to Hunter-Reay on Lap 68 of 90 and ultimately took the checkered flag 12th…  His highest start of the season is fifth at Portland and his highest finish is third at Texas Motor Speedway… 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)… He is seventh in series point standings with a total of 342.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m very happy to be back in Laguna Seca — a fan favorite. I think we all really enjoy this challenging track. I missed the test so today was a little more challenging – only 10 laps I think. Tire degradation was quite big so you had to do it (your fast lap) within four laps. But at least we did a run on a Friday which for a long time we didn’t have it since some of the street courses so it’s really nice to get the three cars’ data tonight and go through all the analysis and get back tomorrow feeling better. I generally feel very positive and hopefully we have a stronger day tomorrow.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here. In 2019, he started 16th and was later running in 11th place when a caution came out for contact between Daly and Andretti on Lap 45. After the restart, Sato was hit by Ferrucci, who served a penalty for avoidable contact in Turn 2, and dropped to 21st place. Based on the positions that drivers were running in at the season finale, he was still on target to finish the season sixth in points. He moved up to 19th but later pit to check for damage to the race car from the previous incident that impacted the steering. He continued to race in an attempt to salvage points and took the checkered flag in 21st place but lost three positions in the series standings due to the double points race… 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 TEN 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)…  He is 11th in series point standings with 297 points. 

OLIVER ASKEW, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “First session out here at Laguna Seca, and my first time here in an Indy car. My last time I was here was in 2019 with Indy Lights. It’s fantastic to be back, it’s a super tricky circuit but very enjoyable when you get it right and it felt good today, ended up P6 in practice. It’s going to be important for us to build on that in practice 2 tomorrow and ultimately qualifying tomorrow afternoon. Our Hy-Vee Honda felt good today and we will see what happens tomorrow.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Is making his first INDYCAR start at the track and his second for the team.  He qualified 9th at Portland but had an incident at the start that dropped him back and he was hit from behind by Bourdais later and retired…. He previously competed in the Indy Lights races here in 2019 with a fourth place (Race 1) and second-place finish (Race 2) as well as won the shootout for the Mazda Road to Indy scholarship in 2016.  This will be the fourth INDYCAR race for him this season after substituting for Rosenqvist at Race 2 in Detroit and for VeeKay at Road America.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT LAGUNA SECA … Will mark the 14th Indy car event for RLL at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and second since 12 consecutive races here from 1992-2003. The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA races here from 2009-2020 as BMW Team RLL and has earned three wins, three poles and a total of 10 podium finishes to date – including pole and a second-place finish in 2019.  The Indy car team has earned three wins, three poles and a total of six podiums (1st – Herta 1998-1999; Papis 2001; 2nd – Herta 1996; 3rd: B. Rahal 1992, Papis 1999) as well as three straight pole positions (Herta 1997-1999).  Prior to the 2021 event, the team prepared a total of 23 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992-98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2002-03), Graham Rahal (2019) and Takuma Sato (2019).

NEXT UP:  Practice 2 will take place tomorrow from 10:00-10:45 a.m. PT and qualifying will take place from 1:35-2:50 p.m. ET.  Peacock will broadcast all sessions live. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is also available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commentary. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be televised live on NBC beginning at 3 PM ET Sunday, September 19.

  • Comments Off on Askew Set the Sixth Fastest Time in Practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey; Rahal and Sato Were 17th and 19th
  • Email to friend
  • Blog it
  • Stay updated

Rahal, Sato and Askew Return to Laguna Seca – the Site of the Team’s Most Success – for the Firestone GP of Monterey

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna SecaPre-Race Notes
Round 15 of 16 in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES



DATE:     September 17-19, 2021

PRACTICE BROADCAST:     Live on Peacock Premium on Friday from 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. ET, Saturday from 1:45 – 2:30 p.m. ET and Sunday from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. ET.  Also live on the INDYCAR Radio Network (IRN) and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).

QUALIFYING BROADCAST:     Live on Peacock Premium, the IRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis) from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

RACE BROADCAST:     Live on NBC Sunday, September 19 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET. And also on Peacock Premium, IRN, Sirius 211 and XM 205

TRACK LAYOUT:     2.258-mile, 11-turn road course
RACE LENGTH:     95 laps / 214.51 miles

PREVIOUS WINNER:     Colton Herta in 2019

PREVIOUS POLESITTER:     Colton Herta in 2019 (1:10.1405 / 114.867 mph) 

RAHAL’S BEST LAGUNA SECA START / FINISH:     8th / 12th – both in 2019; will be his second INDYCAR race here
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     3 Poles – St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit (street) 2017 / 6 Wins – St. Pete 2008, Fontana (oval; 500 miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas (oval) 2016; Detroit Race 1 2017, Detroit Race 2 2017

SATO’S BEST LAGUNA SECA START / FINISH:     16th / 21st – both in 2019; will be his second INDYCAR race here
SATO’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     10 Poles – 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, Barber (road) 2019, Texas (oval) 2019, Gateway (oval) 2020 – Race 2 / 6 Wins – Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017), Portland (road) 2018, Barber 2019, Gateway (oval) 2019, Indianapolis 500 (2020)

ASKEW’S BEST LAGUNA SECA START / FINISH:     First INDYCAR race at the track. Competed here in Indy Lights in 2019 where he finished 4th in Race 1 and 2nd in Race 2. Also won the Mazda Road to Indy scholarship shootout here in 2016.
ASKEW’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     5th at the Indianapolis GP (road) 2020 / 3rd at Iowa Speedway (Race 1) 2020

RLL’S HIGHEST LAGUNA INDYCAR START / FINISH:     3 Indy car Poles – 1997-1999 (Herta) / 3 Indy car Wins – 1998-1999 (Herta), 2001 (Papis) / 6 Indy car Podiums
RLL’S HIGHEST LAGUNA IMSA START / FINISH:     3 IMSA Poles – 2011, ‘15, ‘19 / 3 IMSA Wins – 2015, ‘17, ‘18 / 10 IMSA Podiums


NEWS & NOTES:

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING RETURNS SITE OF ONE OF ITS MOST SUCCESSFUL TRACKS
The 2021 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will mark the 14th Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and second here since 12 consecutive races at the track from 1992-2003. The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA races here from 2009-2020 as BMW Team RLL and has earned three wins, three poles and a total of 10 podium finishes to date – including pole and a second-place finish in 2019.  The Indy car team has earned three wins, three poles and a total of six podiums (1st – Herta 1998-1999; Papis 2001; 2nd – Herta 1996; 3rd: B. Rahal 1992, Papis 1999) including three straight pole positions (Herta 1997-1999).  Prior to the 2021 event, the team prepared a total of 23 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992-98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2002-03), Graham Rahal (2019) and Takuma Sato (2019). The No. 15 United Rentals entry for Graham Rahal, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack entry for Takuma Sato and No. 45 Hy-Vee entry for Oliver Askew will bring the Indy car total to 26 entries in 2021.

GRAHAM RAHAL AT LAGUNA SECA
The 2021 race will mark the second for Graham Rahal at the track. In 2019, he started eighth and lost two positions on the start to Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci. He dropped to 11th on Lap 5 when Rosenqvist passed him and cycled as high as fifth place before his second pit stop on Lap 39. He ran 10th for the majority of his next stint before his third and final stop and came out 11th. He later lost a position to Hunter-Reay on Lap 68 of 90 and ultimately took the checkered flag 12th. He enjoys returning to the site of much success for his father, Bobby Rahal.
            “I have always loved going to Laguna Seca. It’s a tremendous race track that suits our cars and a community that supports our series, which we’re all grateful for. It is a spectacular place to go race. Obviously, Monterey County, Carmel and the surrounding areas are a beautiful part of the world. Its always great to go up the Rahal Straight and always great to hear about how much success my dad had there. Obviously, it would be great to have some myself so hopefully we can make that happen.
            “Testing (in July) was good but what we found at the Indy GP translated well to Portland and I’m hopeful that it’s going to translate really well as we go into Laguna Seca this time around. Testing is always valid but I think that we’ve been able to find things after testing that will be able to help us a little bit more. We’ll just have to wait and see on Friday.”

TAKUMA AT LAGUNA SECA
The event will be Takuma’s second at the course. In 2019, he started 16th and was later running in 11th place when a caution came out for contact between Daly and Andretti on Lap 45. After the restart, Sato was hit by Ferrucci, who served a penalty for avoidable contact in Turn 2, and dropped to 21st place. Based on the positions that drivers were running in at the season finale, he was still on target to finish the season sixth in points. He moved up to 19th but later pit to check for damage to the race car from the previous incident that impacted the steering. He continued to race in an attempt to salvage points and took the checkered flag in 21st place but lost three positions in the series standings due to the double points race. This year, it is the penultimate event in the championship as well as the final road course race. Sato is looking forward to the return.
           “Laguna Seca is an iconic road course – not just in North America but in the world. I think everybody knows that Laguna Seca is such a challenging track. It’s a beautiful track with lots of high-speed flowing corners with unbelievable elevation changes where the one corner — the corkscrew — goes downhill with massive elevation change. Virtually we can’t see anything while braking before turning so it’s incredibly challenging. But also, it’s hugely demanding for the technical side too, for the engineering perspective it’s difficult to get the car well balanced through the medium speed, high speed, and low speed areas. We need a good front end, as well as a high stability on the rear too so it gives us heavy braking while cornering. It’s quite challenging, but it’s one of the most beautiful tracks. I’ve only raced there once in the past, and we had a little issue so it didn’t go well – but certainly I enjoyed the race, and of course we missed it in 2020. I’m very much looking forward to getting back to Laguna and the Monterrey area is just a beautiful area. Great wines, great food, and we will have lots and lots of guests come over to enjoy and be part of the racing. I’m sure they will enjoy the weekend. It’s the last road course race for us and it’s going to be a quite-tight field. The team had a successful test in the mid-season, and hopefully that turns out and we will be very competitive. I’m looking forward to being back in the car and get ready for the big one in Laguna Seca.”

OLIVER ASKEW AT LAGUNA SECA
Oliver Askew will make his second start with the team at Laguna Seca. He earned a top-10 start at Portland of ninth place but was involved in a Lap 1 incident and was later hit from behind and retired from the event. The Firestone Grand Prix of Laguna Seca will be a three-day event which will allow more time to analyze data and preparation which will be good for Askew who will make his first start in an Indy car at the track. He previously competed in the Indy Lights races there in 2019 with a fourth place (Race 1) and second-place finish (Race 2) as well as won the shootout for the Mazda Road to Indy scholarship in 2016.  
            “I had some time to reflect on this past weekend’s event in Portland. I think there are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend. Obviously, it was my first race weekend with Rahal Letterman Lanigan in the Hy-Vee colors. It was a very exciting Saturday for us, qualifying in the top 10 and fighting for the fast six. It was good to have both Graham and I starting in the top 10 there. It was great working with this team, obviously a very experienced group both on the engineering side and with Taku and Graham. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from those two over the next two weekends. Unfortunately, the race didn’t pan out the way we wanted. It was my mistake there at the start which ultimately put us on the back foot but I’m looking forward to bouncing back from that this weekend in Laguna. I haven’t driven Laguna Seca in an Indy car, but I have had some experience there in the past both in Indy Lights in 2019, and from the Mazda Road to Indy Scholarship Shootout in 2016. It’s a track that I’ve had success at, and it’s a very enjoyable track to drive. It’s not like many other tracks on the calendar. It can be very low grip with all the dust around it but I absolutely love that area in Monterrey, and I’m looking forward to welcoming a bunch of fans back at the track this weekend. I’m looking forward to another positive weekend with Rahal Letterman Lanigan.”

GRAHAM RAHAL ON NEW TEAMMATE OLIVER ASKEW’S RUN AT PORTLAND
“I thought Oliver had a great weekend. Being that Takuma had the issues that he had, which is so unfortunate, I thought Oliver did a great job adjusting last weekend. Portland is a tough track. Its not easy to go out and be fast. I thought he did an excellent job.”  

BOBBY RAHAL AT LAGUNA SECA – 11 MAJOR WINS OVER HIS CAREER AS A DRIVER AND TEAM OWNER
Bobby Rahal captured his first major race win at Laguna Seca in the Can Am series in 1979 so it’s only fitting that the track has become the most successful for RLL overall as a team. After that Can Am win, Rahal went on to become the only driver to win four straight Indy car wins at the track from 1984-1987, the 1985 win coming from pole. A third place in 1992 brought him his fifth podium finish at the track. In terms of Indy car history at Laguna Seca, in 22 races from 1983-2004, the most wins other drivers have is two (Danny Sullivan 1988, 1990), Michael Andretti (1991-92), Paul Tracy (1993-94), Bryan Herta with RLL (1998-99), Patrick Carpentier (2003-04).

POINT STANDINGS AFTER 14 OF 16 RACES
Heading into Round 15 in Monterey, Rahal is ranked seventh in series point standings with a total of 342.  He trails sixth place Colton Herta by six (348). Takuma Sato is 11th with 297.
            “We’re seventh in points and have a shot at sixth, which might be our ceiling this year based on the way the point standings look,” said Rahal. “I am very proud of that considering the tough go’s that we’ve had. If you look at the Indianapolis (500), Road America and even the bad luck we had at Portland, not finishing St. Louis and what happened at St. Pete (Rossi contact), when our bad, bad races are 10th or 11th place its not bad. We’ve been consistent but just haven’t gotten a win. I thought we were going to get that monkey off our back in Portland but it just didn’t happen but we will keep our heads down. If we can get to sixth, we can be proud. I’m just focused on what we need to do to be at our best.”

  • Comments Off on Rahal, Sato and Askew Return to Laguna Seca – the Site of the Team’s Most Success – for the Firestone GP of Monterey
  • Email to friend
  • Blog it
  • Stay updated

Rahal Led 36 Laps But the Timing of a Caution Limited His Pit Strategy and He Finished 10th; Sato Finished 12th and Askew Retired in 24th Place

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingGrand Prix of Portland
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – September 12, 2021

RAHAL LED 36 LAPS BUT THE TIMING OF A CAUTION LIMITED HIS PIT STRATEGY AND HE FINISHED 10TH IN THE GP OF PORTLAND; SATO FINISHED 12TH AND ASKEW RETIRED IN 24TH

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Total Quartz Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Portland has come to a close for us here on the Total Quartz Machine.  You guys can probably imagine that I’m pretty upset, if nothing else just disappointed. Our guys did an excellent job today.  We played the strategy right but unfortunately all the guys who caused the crash at the start are all the guys who won. It’s just a shame, I don’t know what else to say. I’m obviously disappointed, but the high points are that they definitely knew we were here. Our boys did an excellent job in the pits once again. The car was very strong, out front leading.  I don’t know how many laps we led but it was a lot of fun to be out there and get the Total machine out front. We put our head down and finished all the laps here, and got another top-10. It should have been a win, I can’t help but say it, we played it perfect just sometimes in racing the yellows don’t go your way. Chin up and on to Monterrey we go.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal started fifth and moved to second place on the opening lap and avoided damage from contact that involved multiple cars. He took over the lead on Lap 29 when leader O’Ward pit for fuel and tires and held it until his first stop on Lap 35/110. He came back on track ahead of O’Ward by staying out longer and undercutting him. He reclaimed the lead on Lap 44 and was 2.6-second ahead of O’Ward. A caution on Lap 51 for Kellett, who stopped in Turn 1 and Ilott, who stopped in Turn 7 came out. This forced the team to adopt the same two-stop strategy that those who were involved in the opening lap contact and topped off were on, so he had to save fuel and ultimately finished 10th… It was the sixth overall race for Graham at PIR and fourth in the headline event.  In 2018, he started 10th and had gotten through Turns 1 and 2, which was expected to be action-packed at the start, and after getting through Turn 2 Zach Veach squeezed James Hinchcliffe and the two made contact which set off a multi-car crash that collected Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Rahal, points-leader Scott Dixon and his then teammate Ed Jones.  Rahal’s car was too damaged to continue so it was towed back to the paddock and after more than one hour he returned to the track to complete a handful of laps to collect two championship points, which was the maximum possible. This move helped him at season’s end. He competed in the 2007 Champ Car World Series race where he started eighth and finished ninth in his rookie season for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.  He started from pole in the Atlantics race here in 2006 but was hit by Simon Pagenaud on Lap 1 and finished 27th.  In 2005, he earned his first professional win at PIR in the Star Mazda race after starting fourth and winning by a margin of 0.0317 seconds over James Hinchcliffe… 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)… Rahal moved from eighth place in series point standings to seventh with a total of 342.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Well it was a good race considering we started from the back of the grid, and then we tried the two-stop strategy, and I think we had one of the longest runs in the group on the two stop. Apart from a good team and good drivers, they sort of got a free stop and were in better conditions and in the end we couldn’t gain back on that position. I wish we could have finished in the top 10, but it was still a solid performance. I think the guys did a great job. It was definitely a positive weekend as we showed tremendous speed that we’ve gained on road courses. There are two races to go but we are very optimistic.”

  • FAST FACTS: Started 26th after a six-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change and jumped into 17th on the opening lap but making a good start and avoiding the multi-car contact. He ran as high as second on Laps 37-38 before he pit on Lap 39. He made his second stop on Lap 76/110 from sixth place and ultimately finished 12th… Was collected in an opening lap accident in 2019 and ultimately finished 15th.  Won the 2018 race after starting 20th in his first event here at the track.  He led a total of 23 laps including the final 20 on what was largely a two-stop strategy plus an early pit to top off on fuel during an opening lap caution that took out four cars including his teammate Rahal. On the start, he avoided a multi-car crash and once the pits opened during the caution, he pit to top off his fuel and returned to the track in 16th place.  Topping off on fuel enabled him to cycle as high as second when he made his second stop for tires and fuel on Lap 39.  He returned to the track in 17th place and maintained a good pace to those on two and three-stop strategies. He moved up to 10th on Lap 45 when drivers ahead took advantage of the caution for Will Power and pit. He passed Chaves for 9th on Lap 47 and held the position until three-stoppers began to pit. He was in seventh place when a caution came out for Veach. As the front runners pit during the caution, he stayed on track and cycled to second place.  When the race went green on Lap 60/105, he held second place behind Ryan Hunter-Reay for a total of 14 laps before Hunter-Reay have to make another stop.  He took over the lead on Lap 71 and held it until he made his final stop on Lap 76. He returned to the track in second place to Max Chilton, who still had to pit. A caution came out for Ferrucci. The race went green on Lap 81 and Chilton pit for fuel on Lap 85. Sato had a 0.74-second lead over Hunter-Reay which he build to one second by Lap 100 of 105. He held off Hunter-Reay and took the checkered flag 0.6084 ahead of him to win… 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 TEN 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)…  He dropped from 10th in series point standings to 11th with 297 points.

OLIVER ASKEW, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Unfortunately our race in the #45 Hy-Vee Honda didn’t pan out the way we had hoped. We had some contact in Turn 1 at the start which put us on the back foot right away. We fought back up to 15th place, and everyone did a really good job on strategy, and the pit stops were clean so that helped us out there. Then on one of the restarts we got hit from behind again in Turn 2 and that pretty much stopped our race right there, I couldn’t get the car back in gear and had to park it. Unfortunate day for us after what seemed to be a very promising start to the weekend. Now I’m looking forward to next week in Laguna Seca.”

  • FAST FACTS: Started ninth and charged through the field alongside Rahal but contact dropped him to 24th. As he was in the back of the field, he pit to top off on fuel near the end of the caution on Lap 9.  Later in the race, he was running 15th when Bourdais hit him in the rear of the car and spun him around. During the turn, the clutch became inoperable and INDYCAR parked the car behind a retaining wall and he retired in 24th… Made his first INDYCAR start at the track as well as his first for the team… He has earned four podiums in four races here in the INDYCAR Road to Indy program. He won the Indy Pro 2000 series event (Race 1) in 2018, finished second (Race 1) and third (Race 2) in Indy Lights in 2019, and also finished third in the Indy Pro 2000 (Race 2) in 2018… This will be the third INDYCAR race for him this season after substituting for Rosenqvist at Race 2 in Detroit and for Veekay at Road America.

NEXT UP: The Firestone Grand Prix of Laguna Seca will take place next Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

  • Comments Off on Rahal Led 36 Laps But the Timing of a Caution Limited His Pit Strategy and He Finished 10th; Sato Finished 12th and Askew Retired in 24th Place
  • Email to friend
  • Blog it
  • Stay updated
Page 1 of 48:1 2 3 4 »Last »