Archives for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing PR

Sato Set the 12th Fastest in Practice for the Grand Prix of Portland and Rahal Set the 19th

Grand Prix of Portland – Portland, Oregon
NTT IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – August 30, 2019

SATO WAS THE 12TH FASTEST IN PRACTICE FOR THE GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND AND RAHAL WAS 19TH

1)         Colton Herta          57.4293 / 123.115 mph        (5th in Warmup)
12)       Takuma Sato         58.1906 / 121.504 mph        (20th in Warmup)      
19)       Graham Rahal       58.4616 / 120.941 mph        (7th in Warmup)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 One Cure Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “While I’m worried about our outright pace a little bit, it seemed like our race pace was very good. It seemed like we were pretty competitive with the guys I was around in practice. In the afternoon session, we got off to a bad start. The car balance was actually very good but it seemed like we were down on power. We’ll be better tomorrow. We ended the day seventh in the race warmup, and almost matched our best time even with full fuel so I feel like we’re in a better place.  We’ve just got to keep working on it tonight.”

  • FAST FACTS: It will be the fifth overall race for Graham at PIR and third in the headline event.  Last year, 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.  His highest start of the season is second at Barber 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) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… Rahal dropped from seventh to eighth in series point standings with a total of 346.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It’s nice to be back here. We have great memories from last year. It was a good day, I think. We had no major problems so we completed the program we wanted today. I don’t think we have the perfect handling at the moment but I think at least we understand the two types of tires more through medium-ish and long runs and that’s really important. For qualifying, I think we still need to work on it really hard tomorrow morning to get extra speed because it feels like we are still lacking speed. But at least the car felt pretty good on long runs.”

  • FAST FACTS: Is the defending winner of the event after starting 20th in his first event here last year.  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 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 267.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT PORTLAND … Sato brought the team its second win here last year in Indy car racing’s returning to Portland International Raceway (PIR) for the first time since the 24th consecutive race was held in 2007.  The 2019 race will mark the 14th time for RLL to compete in an Indy car race here.  The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races at PIR from 1992-2003 with a best starting position of pole by Bryan Herta in 1998 and Max Papis in 2001 and best finish of first place by  Max Papis in 2001 and Sato in 2018. RLL has earned a total of four podium finishes (3rd – B. Rahal 1995, Herta 1998) and has led a total of 114 laps here (1998: Herta, 20; 2001: Papis, 69, Sato: 25). In addition, the team competed in the Toyota Atlantic races here in 2003 (Danica Patrick, Jon Fogerty) and 2004 (Patrick and Chris Festa).

NEXT UP:  Practice 3 will take place tomorrow from 11:00-11:45 a.m. PT and qualifying will take place from 3:00-4:15.  NBCSN will broadcast qualifying coverage at 6 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 Grand Prix of Portland will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 3 PM ET Sunday, September 1.

Rahal and Defending Grand Prix of Portland Champion Sato Look Forward to Returning to Action in the Pacific Northwest

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Pre-Race Notes  Grand Prix of Portland – Portland International Raceway Round 16 of 17 in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series  DATE:     August 30 – September 1, 2019 PRACTICE BROADCASTS:     Live on INDYCAR Pass, the direct-to-consumer streaming product from NBC Sports Gold, on Friday from 1:50-2:35 p.m. and 5:40-7:10 p.m.,…

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Sato Drove to His Fifth Series Victory After Being a Lap Down in the Bommarito 500; Rahal Retired After an Exhaust Secondary Failure

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway
NTT IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – August 24, 2019

SATO DROVE TO HIS FIFTH SERIES VICTORY AFTER BEING A LAP DOWN IN THE BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500; RAHAL  RETIRED AFTER AN EXHAUST SECONDARY FAILURE

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m disappointed. Actually the car wasn’t that bad. We just had a couple of set of tires that vibrated unbelievably bad. It’s frustrating. As a team, we need to get a little bit of luck on our side. The guys are working incredibly hard but we’re not seeing the fruits of our labor and it’s disappointing. I feel bad for them. Congrats to Takuma and the No. 30 guys on their win.”

  • FAST FACTS: Was his third race at the track.  He qualified 16th and struggled with tire wear for a good portion of the race like many others but was running ninth late in the race before losing two positions to run 11th. While 11th, he reported a problem on Lap 224 of 248 and ultimately retired after 226 laps in 18th place. A post race inspection shoed that his exhaust secondary failed….  His highest start her is seventh and highest finish is 10th – both in 2018.  In 2018, he started seventh in the race based on entrant points when qualifying was rained out. The race immediately went yellow for a crash by Bourdais. On the restart, he reported a big wiggle that forced him to lift and he lost three spots to run 10th. He was passed a few laps later by Veach. Once those who were on a four-stop strategy began to pit he cycled up to second place by Lap 62/248 before he made his first stop on Lap 63 on a three-stop strategy. He returned to the track in 13th and was up to P10 on Lap 114.  On Lap 116, he was told he could use more fuel to pass Hinchcliffe, who had a pack backed up behind him. A driver dove past him in Turn 1 and a few cars passed him including his teammate Sato.  As the next pit cycle started he moved up to second place by Lap 123 before he made his second stop on Lap 126.  Other than Sato, who pit a lap later, he was looking on target for at least a podium finish if the race stayed green. He returned to the track in 15th place, took over 14th after passing Hinchcliffe, and then cycled up as others pit. He was in 11th place on Lap 172 when Hunter-Reay slowed on track right after a pit stop and brought out a caution. His three-stop strategy meant a slower pace and he had dropped a lap down. Once he was given the pass around to get back on the lead lap, he pit on Lap 181 and was now on the same strategy as the field without the advantage the previous strategy afforded. The race restarted and the team elected to try to salvage the strategy by saving fuel. He held ninth place but was passed by Ed Jones, who had pit on Lap 226 and was able to use full power without saving fuel.  He held 10th place until the checkered flag.  Was his second Indy car race here.  In 2017, Rahal started 13th but during the pace laps, Kanaan spun and Rahal moved into 12th before the green. Once the race started, pole sitter Will Power spun and collected Carpenter and Sato to move Rahal into ninth place.  He was able to stay out longer than a few cars and cycled into fifth before his first stop on Lap 61 of 248.  He returned to the track in eighth place and held the position until his second stop on Lap 104 during a full course caution for JR Hildebrand.  After the restart he passed Ryan Hunter-Reay for seventh on Lap 113.  He held the spot until the next pit cycle approached and took over sixth place when Rossi pit before he made his third stop on Lap 158. He returned to the race in sixth place and held it through a full course caution for Chilton who spun. He passed Hinchcliffe for fifth on Lap 183 when the Canadian had to check up behind Dixon and Rahal got around him.  During his fourth and final stop under caution for Hunter-Reay who hit the wall, Rahal pitted from fifth place but left the pit with the fuel probe still attached to the car. At the start of the race, telemetry showed that the fuel probe sensor wasn’t working so the team had to take extra precautions for the stops.  The probe sensor ensures that the car cannot go into gear to depart until the fuel nozzle is out of the car.  Race control ruled that Rahal had to go to the back of the field due to the incident and he moved back to 14th place.  He passed Andretti on the restart and later passed Jones for 12th, which he held until the checkered flag… His highest start of the season is second at Barber 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) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… Rahal dropped from seventh to eighth in series point standings with a total of 346.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I just can’t find the words to thank everyone for all the support. It was special, particularly after the difficult circumstances. To come here, have a strong qualifying, which I was really proud of the team. It was a difficult start. I was sandwiched, then went backwards. It was difficult to get away the first stint.  We kept our heads down, did our job, believed in ourselves, take the moment for the chance to come back. We came back. We had a lot of good pace over the next two stints and stretched the fuel to what we needed. Yeah, the yellow came in. Of course, some luck maybe happened. I think this is the whole effort of the team completely behind me, the support. I’m so happy to bring the car to the win for them. I’m very, very happy.  On the last restart, perhaps it was really slow but consistent speed obviously. I had to take all the advantage just to control the pack. After that we just drove away beautifully, I would say. Excitement for the race, tire degradation. Tony and I had similar difficulty for the last 20 laps where Ed seems to be hooking up very, very good speed. It was tough for the last five laps. I just wanted to bring the car home, which we did. (On whether this win was the most gratifying of his career other than the Indy 500:) Yes. I’m sure. To win from pole at Barber was very significant. Just the domination of the weekend is always great credit for the team, and satisfaction. But this win is so special, like you said, beside Indy 500, obviously nothing like it. This is just so emotional. Gave me unbelievable boost. The next two races are going to be exciting. For sure the championship going to be very exciting. Hopefully I can climb a few positions up towards the end of the season. It is just unbelievable support from the team. I’m so happy. So proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.”

  • FAST FACTS: Started fifth, his highest qualifying at the track.  He made a conservative start and found himself in the middle of a three-wide group on the opening lap which led to slight contact with Hunter-Reay and him dropping back to 13th by the end of that lap. Ultimately he dropped to last place after being the first to make a pit stop on Lap 44 of 248 but never gave up. The team took advantage of an off-sequence pit strategy and the timing of two caution flags when they were scheduled to pit to lead the last 61 laps and hold off Ed Carpenter by. 0.0399 of a second. A pivitol moment came when Sato cycled to the lead on Lap 188 after others pit and on Lap 190 Bourdais crashed and brought out a caution. As others who had recently pit were now a lap down, he, Kanaan, Carpenter and Newgarden were able to pit and maintain their top-four positions with Sato remaining in the lead.  After the restart on 205, he was able to build a comfortable lead over Kanaan but with four laps to go Carpenter passed Kanaan and began to close on Sato, who was able to hold him off until the checkered flag and take his second win of the season and fifth in his career…  Was his third Indy car race here.  His highest previous start was sixth in 2017 and his highest finish is ninth last year.  In 2018, he started 13th in the race based on entrant points due to rain canceling qualifying. The race immediately went yellow for a crash by Bourdais. On the restart, he was passed by Veach and Pigot but was back in 12th by Lap 8. Once those who were on a four-stop strategy began to pit, he cycled up to second place by Lap 62 and into the lead on Lap 63/248 before he made his first stop on Lap 64 on a three-stop strategy. He and Rahal were last to make their first stops.  He returned to the track in 15th and was up to P12 on Lap 114 and 10th by Lap 117 after he passed Rahal and another.  As the next pit cycle started he led the race again on Lap 124 before he made his second stop on Lap 126.  He pit a lap later than anyone and was looking on target for at least a podium finish if the race stayed green. He returned to the track in 14th place, took over 13th after passing Hinchcliffe, and then cycled up as others pit. He was in 10th place on Lap 172 when Hunter-Reay slowed on track right after a pit stop and brought out a caution. His three-stop strategy meant a slower pace and he had dropped a lap down. Once he was given the pass around to get back on the lead lap, he pit on Lap 181 and was now on the same strategy as the field without the advantage the previous strategy afforded. The race restarted and the team elected to try to salvage the strategy by saving fuel. He held eighth place but was passed by Ed Jones, who had pit on Lap 226 and was able to use full power without saving fuel.  He held 9th place until the checkered flag. In 2017, he qualified a strong sixth but the race went yellow when Tony Kanaan spun on the pace lap.  Once the green flag flew, pole sitter Will Power lost control of his race car as did Ed Carpenter and collected Sato as he was spinning. Sato only completed six of 248 laps…  His highest start of the season is pole at Barber (road) and Texas (oval) and his highest finish is his win at Barber and tonight at St. Louis… Has FIVE IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, St. Louis short oval) and NINE 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, Texas oval).  He moved from eighth in the series point standings to sixth with a total of 382 points.

FIRST WIN FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT WWT RACEWAY… The 2019 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 marked the third open wheel race at the track since 2003 and was the eighth event for the team here. The 1.25-mile oval hosted CART-sanctioned races from 1997-2000 and IRL races from 2001-2003 before the IndyCar Series returned in 2017.  The team competed in all four CART races from 1997-2000 and one of the three IRL races (2003).  The best starting position for the team of second place came in 2003 by Kenny Brack and the previous best finish of fifth place was in 1999 by Max Papis.  Prior to 2019, the team prepared a total of 12 Indy car entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1997-1998), Bryan Herta (1997-1999), Max Papis (1999-2000), Kenny Brack (2000, 2003), Graham Rahal (2017-2018) and Takuma Sato (2018).

NEXT UP:  Takuma Sato returns to Portland Raceway as the defending winner AND most recent winner in the NTT IndyCar Series after he earned his first road course win there last season.  The Portland Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, September 1.

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Sato Earned His Highest Start of Fifth Place for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500; Rahal to Start 16th After a Challenging Qualifying Session

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway

NTT IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – August 23, 2019

SATO EARNED HIS BEST START OF FIFTH PLACE FOR THE BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500; RAHAL TO START 16TH AFTER A CHALLENGING QUALIFYING SESSION

POLE: Josef Newgarden          2-lap avg. speed of 186.508 mph           (L1: 24.1145, L2: 24.1409 mph)
5th:      Takuma Sato                2-lap avg. speed of 185.050 mph           (L1: 24.2947, L2: 24.3409 mph)
16th:     Graham Rahal              2-lap avg. speed of 182.065 mph           (L1: 24.7810, L2: 24.6518 mph)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I thought it (the car) was going. I got so sideways in Turn 1 (on his first qualifying lap). I thought it was gone. I sent her in there and we just didn’t have enough.  Once she settled down into the bowl, she just gave up. Going into it (qualifying), I felt really good. The car was nice and stable in practice but we almost lost it in Turn 1 on that first (qualifying) lap. She went all the way around pretty much. It wasn’t as bad as Marco’s but it was close and that’s it.  When you lose momentum as bad as that, it’s (qualifying run) over. It’s disappointing. We’ll just have to work our way forward.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third race at the track.  His highest start is seventh and highest finish is 10th – both in 2018.  In 2018, he started seventh in the race based on entrant points when qualifying was rained out. The race immediately went yellow for a crash by Bourdais. On the restart, he reported a big wiggle that forced him to lift and he lost three spots to run 10th. He was passed a few laps later by Veach. Once those who were on a four-stop strategy began to pit he cycled up to second place by Lap 62/248 before he made his first stop on Lap 63 on a three-stop strategy. He returned to the track in 13th and was up to P10 on Lap 114.  On Lap 116, he was told he could use more fuel to pass Hinchcliffe, who had a pack backed up behind him. A driver dove past him in Turn 1 and a few cars passed him including his teammate Sato.  As the next pit cycle started he moved up to second place by Lap 123 before he made his second stop on Lap 126.  Other than Sato, who pit a lap later, he was looking on target for at least a podium finish if the race stayed green. He returned to the track in 15th place, took over 14th after passing Hinchcliffe, and then cycled up as others pit. He was in 11th place on Lap 172 when Hunter-Reay slowed on track right after a pit stop and brought out a caution. His three-stop strategy meant a slower pace and he had dropped a lap down. Once he was given the pass around to get back on the lead lap, he pit on Lap 181 and was now on the same strategy as the field without the advantage the previous strategy afforded. The race restarted and the team elected to try to salvage the strategy by saving fuel. He held ninth place but was passed by Ed Jones, who had pit on Lap 226 and was able to use full power without saving fuel.  He held 10th place until the checkered flag.  Was his second Indy car race here.  In 2017, Rahal started 13th but during the pace laps, Kanaan spun and Rahal moved into 12th before the green. Once the race started, pole sitter Will Power spun and collected Carpenter and Sato to move Rahal into ninth place.  He was able to stay out longer than a few cars and cycled into fifth before his first stop on Lap 61 of 248.  He returned to the track in eighth place and held the position until his second stop on Lap 104 during a full course caution for JR Hildebrand.  After the restart he passed Ryan Hunter-Reay for seventh on Lap 113.  He held the spot until the next pit cycle approached and took over sixth place when Rossi pit before he made his third stop on Lap 158. He returned to the race in sixth place and held it through a full course caution for Chilton who spun. He passed Hinchcliffe for fifth on Lap 183 when the Canadian had to check up behind Dixon and Rahal got around him.  During his fourth and final stop under caution for Hunter-Reay who hit the wall, Rahal pitted from fifth place but left the pit with the fuel probe still attached to the car. At the start of the race, telemetry showed that the fuel probe sensor wasn’t working so the team had to take extra precautions for the stops.  The probe sensor ensures that the car cannot go into gear to depart until the fuel nozzle is out of the car.  Race control ruled that Rahal had to go to the back of the field due to the incident and he moved back to 14th place.  He passed Andretti on the restart and later passed Jones for 12th, which he held until the checkered flag… His highest start of the season is second at Barber 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) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015…Rahal is seventh in series point standings with a total of 334.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “After the first practice, I felt positive. We made great progress and I was able to commit in qualifying. I’m very happy for the team. They did a great job. It’s an extremely challenging track. Turns 1 and 2 and Turns 3 and 4 have very different characteristics. The car was quite loose in Turns 2 but then nearly flat out in Turns 3 and 4.  It’s a fun track. I am optimistic for the race.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third Indy car race here.  His highest previous start was sixth in 2017 and his highest finish is ninth last year.  In 2018, he started 13th in the race based on entrant points due to rain canceling qualifying. The race immediately went yellow for a crash by Bourdais. On the restart, he was passed by Veach and Pigot but was back in 12th by Lap 8. Once those who were on a four-stop strategy began to pit, he cycled up to second place by Lap 62 and into the lead on Lap 63/248 before he made his first stop on Lap 64 on a three-stop strategy. He and Rahal were last to make their first stops.  He returned to the track in 15th and was up to P12 on Lap 114 and 10th by Lap 117 after he passed Rahal and another.  As the next pit cycle started he led the race again on Lap 124 before he made his second stop on Lap 126.  He pit a lap later than anyone and was looking on target for at least a podium finish if the race stayed green. He returned to the track in 14th place, took over 13th after passing Hinchcliffe, and then cycled up as others pit. He was in 10th place on Lap 172 when Hunter-Reay slowed on track right after a pit stop and brought out a caution. His three-stop strategy meant a slower pace and he had dropped a lap down. Once he was given the pass around to get back on the lead lap, he pit on Lap 181 and was now on the same strategy as the field without the advantage the previous strategy afforded. The race restarted and the team elected to try to salvage the strategy by saving fuel. He held eighth place but was passed by Ed Jones, who had pit on Lap 226 and was able to use full power without saving fuel.  He held 9th place until the checkered flag. In 2017, he qualified a strong sixth but the race went yellow when Tony Kanaan spun on the pace lap.  Once the green flag flew, pole sitter Will Power lost control of his race car as did Ed Carpenter and collected Sato as he was spinning. Sato only completed six of 248 laps…  His highest start of the season is pole at Barber (road) and Texas (oval) and his highest finish is his win at Barber … Has FOUR IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road) and NINE 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, Texas oval).  He dropped is eighth in the series point standings with a total of 331 points.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT GATEWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK … The 2019 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will mark the third open wheel race at the track since 2003 and will be the eighth event for the team here. The 1.25-mile oval hosted CART-sanctioned races from 1997-2000 and IRL races from 2001-2003 before the IndyCar Series returned in 2017.  The team competed in all four CART races from 1997-2000 and one of the three IRL races (2003).  The best starting position for the team of second place came in 2003 by Kenny Brack and the best finish of fifth place was in 1999 by Max Papis.  Prior to 2019, the team prepared a total of 12 Indy car entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1997-1998), Bryan Herta (1997-1999), Max Papis (1999-2000), Kenny Brack (2000, 2003), Graham Rahal (2017-2018) and Takuma Sato (2018).  The No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda entry for Graham Rahal and No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic entry for Takuma Sato will bring that total to 14 in 2018.   

NEXT UP:  The 248-lap Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will take the Green Flag at 8:45 p.m. ET Saturday. NBC Sports Network will begin live coverage at 8 p.m. ET.

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STATEMENT FROM RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING ON THE OPENING LAP CRASH AT POCONO RACEWAY ON AUGUST 18, 2019

STATEMENT FROM RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING ON THE OPENING LAP CRASH AT POCONO RACEWAY ON AUGUST 18, 2019

Following the events on Lap 1 of Sunday’s INDYCAR race at Pocono Raceway, we are relieved that all drivers emerged unhurt from the crash. Normally in a situation of this nature it is not necessary for a team to comment but following the accusations levied at Takuma Sato, and after reviewing Takuma’s onboard data and camera, we feel that a clarification is necessary.  The data and video clearly shows that Takuma did not turn down the track into Alexander in this incident and in fact the first steering wheel movement made by Takuma was to the right, as he tried to correct his car after the initial contact.

This sort of accident is part and parcel of this type of racing and with track position being vital at every stage of each race is, in our view, a part of the sport.  It’s a racing incident and we as a team wish to publicly state that we stand behind our drivers and have absolute faith in their ability to race and perform at the highest level for RLL.

This was a racing incident which unfortunately may have some championship implications. A crash at Pocono impacted our title aspirations in 2015 while second in the standings so we know the frustration drivers and teams experienced.  As always, we are thankful for the quick response of the AMR Safety Team.

RAHAL FINISHED NINTH IN THE RAIN-SHORTENED ABC SUPPLY 500 AT POCONO RACEWAY; SATO INVOLVED IN OPENING LAP CRASH

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway NTT IndyCar Series RACE NOTES/QUOTES – August 18, 2019 GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 TOTAL Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We need a little more pace. We were a little slow on the straights for some reason but we’ll keep digging into it.  I had a bad restart (went from fifth…

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ABC Supply 500 Starting Lineup at Pocono Will Be Set By Points After Weather Canceled Practice 1 & Qualifying; Sato to Start Seventh, Rahal Eighth

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway
NTT IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – August 17, 2019

THE ABC SUPPLY 500 STARTING LINEUP AT POCONO RACEWAY WILL BE SET BY POINTS AFTER INCLEMENT WEATHER CANCELED PRACTICE 1 & QUALFYING; SATO TO START SEVENTH, RAHAL EIGHTH 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 TOTAL Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We only got two hours of practice today. It was a bit of a struggle to get going but in the end I think our TOTAL car feels pretty strong. I expect us to be competitive. Both Takuma and I start seventh and eighth tomorrow so Row 4 is a good place to start, a lot of great guys to be around. Our car seems fast so I’m cautiously optimistic. Who knows what 500-miles is going to bring and what the conditions will be versus tomorrow versus today but hopefully we’ll have a good strong day, gain some points and get closer to our goal of a top-five finish this season.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his seventh race here. His highest start is fifth in 2015 and his highest finish is 9th in 2017 although he has run in the top-five all but two races.  In 2018, on the start as the field approached the acceleration zone, many drivers reported front runners accelerating then quickly jumping on the brakes.  This caught Rahal off guard and he hit Spencer Pigot.  Both incurred damage but the pit didn’t open for a few laps as the field was put in order. Once the pits opened, Rahal pitted for a new front nose and was leaving the pits when a five-car crash happened that involved Ryan Hunter-Reay, Robert Wickens, James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato and Pietro Fittipaldi.  The race was ultimately red flagged for almost two hours while the fencing was repaired.  Once restarted, he was in 16th place, and three laps down due to a two-lap penalty for the team working on the car during the red flag as well as a lost lap due to the earlier stop. He moved up to 15th when Kanaan retired and into 14th when Conor Daly brushed the wall.  He took the checkered flag in 14th place, four laps down… His highest start of the season is second at Barber 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) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015…Rahal is ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 312.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a tough session.  Usually after the practice, we have time to analyze the data and try to come up with a different setup or whatever might be needed. Today we couldn’t but of course everyone is in the same boat. The car was unbalanced today and we needed to do a lot of work to get to a point where we could start working on the setup. Unfortunately, we got to that point at the very last part of the session.  If the session started from that point we would have probably been much better. Hopefully we can look over the data tonight and make the car better for the race.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his seventh race race here. In his six previous races, his best start is pole in 2017 with Andretti Autosport and his best finish is sixth in 2015 after he led three laps with A.J. Foyt Racing.   In 2018, he started the race from 10th place and passed Bourdais for 9th but on a restart from a caution involving Rahal and Pigot, cars two rows ahead made contact which set off a multi-car accident and he had nowhere to go and was collected. He was checked in the medical center and cleared to race. He ultimately retired in 21st place. He retired with electrical failure in 2014 and contact in 2013 and 2016 while with A.J. Foyt Racing…. His highest start of the season is pole at Barber (road) and Texas (oval) and his highest finish is his win at Barber … Has FOUR IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road) and NINE 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, Texas oval).  He is ranked seventh in the series point standings with 322 points.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT POCONO AND IN 500 MILE RACES… Will be the seventh race for the team at this track.  Rahal earned the best start for the team here with fifth place in 2015 and the best finish is 9th by Rahal in 2017. The team’s highest 500-mile start is pole by Buddy Rice in the 2004 Indy 500 and the team has three 500-mile wins – 2004 Indy 500 by Buddy Rice, 2002 by Jimmy Vasser and 2015 by Graham Rahal – both at Auto Club Speedway.

NEXT UP:  The 200-lap ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway will take the Green Flag at 2:45 p.m. ET Sunday. NBC Sports Network will begin live coverage at 2 p.m. ET.

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ABC Supply 500 – Pocono Raceway Pre-Race Notes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ABC Supply 500 – Pocono Raceway Pre-Race Notes Round 14 of 17 in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series DATE:     August 17-18, 2019 PRACTICE BROADCASTS:     Live on INDYCAR Pass, the direct-to-consumer streaming product from NBC Sports Gold, on Saturday, August 17 from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. ET and 4-5 p.m. ET. …

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course NTT IndyCar Series RACE NOTES/QUOTES – July 28, 2019 RAHAL FINISHED NINTH IN THE HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO AND SATO FINISHED 19TH AFTER AN OPENING LAP ISSUE CAUSED A PUNCTURE AND OFF TRACK RUN LED TO A FUELING ISSUE GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15…

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Rahal and Sato to Start 15th and 17th in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – July 27, 2019

RAHAL AND SATO TO START 15TH AND 17TH IN THE HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Four cars were within six-hundredths of a second in our group and we weren’t on the right end of that to progress to Round 2. Obviously, we’re disappointed to not be faster. Gearing cost us two-tenths alone just down the straightaways.  We’re going to have to find more speed for tomorrow. We made progress this morning from yesterday and we hoped to continue that in qualifying. We won from 13th here so we’re just going to have to try to do the same from 15th.

  • FAST FACTS: The 2019 Honda Indy 200 will mark Rahal’s 12th Indy car race here.  His best start is fourth in 2009 and 2017 and his best finish is his win here in 2015 from a 13th place start. He has finished in the top-five, four times in his past five races here. In total, he has one win (2015), two podiums (2017), four top-five and six top-10 finishes in his 11 races here. He has also competed in many other series at his “home track.”  At the age of 16 in 2005, he became the youngest to claim the SCCA National Formula Atlantic championship at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs here by a dominant 43-seconds.  He also competed in the Star Mazda race here in 2005 (S/F 4/9) and tested a Grand Am car here in 2007… His highest start of the season is second at Barber 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) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… Rahal is ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 290.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We’re just not quite there on the setup.  We made some improvements from practice but it seems like we need more speed. We want to try a few things in the warmup to make the car faster and then we will try to work our way forward in the race.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 10th race here. In his nine previous races, his best start is third – in 2010 with KVRT and in 2017 with Andretti Autosport.  He has two top-five finishes and three top-10’s. In 2011 he finished fourth with KVRT and he finished fifth in 2017 year after starting third… His highest start of the season is pole at Barber (road) and Texas (oval) and his highest finish is his win at Barber … Has FOUR IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road) and NINE 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, Texas oval).  He is ranked sixth in the series point standings with 301 points.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT MID-OHIO … The Honda Indy 200 will mark the 22nd Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here. The team also competed in the Atlantic Series race in 2003 with Danica Patrick and has competed in ALMS races here in 2007 and from 2009-2012.  The team has one win (G. Rahal 2015), four podiums (3rd: B. Rahal 1997, 1998; G. Rahal 2017) and the highest start is pole (Herta 1997).  Another front row start came in 1999 (Herta; 2nd).  Prior to the 2019 event, the team prepared a total of 32 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) Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-2008), Takuma Sato (2012, 2018), Graham Rahal (2013-2018) and James Jakes (2013).  The team has earned FOUR podiums (1st – G. Rahal; 3rd – B. Rahal 1997, 1998, G. Rahal 2017), 13 top-five’s and 18 top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 Fifth Third Bank entry for Graham Rahal and No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic entry for Takuma Sato will bring the Indy car total to 34 entries in 2019.

NEXT UP:  Pre-race warmup will take place from 12-12:30 p.m. ET Sunday and the 90 lap Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio will take the green flag at 4:05 p.m. ET. Live coverage will begin on NBC at 4 p.m. ET.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes commentary by the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

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