Archives for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing PR

SATO, RAHAL AND PIGOT COMPLETE THE FINAL PRACTICE SESSION ON CARB DAY IN PREPARATION FOR SUNDAY’S INDIANAPOLIS 500

#30: Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing104th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
CARB DAY NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, August 21, 2020

SATO, RAHAL AND PIGOT COMPLETE THE FINAL PRACTICE SESSION ON CARB DAY IN PREPARATION FOR SUNDAY’S INDIANAPOLIS 500

1)         Pato O’Ward            225.355 mph    
4)         Takuma Sato           224.580 mph    
25)       Graham Rahal         222.158 mph
26)       Spencer Pigot          221.789 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was an interesting day for us in the United Rentals car. When we started off, it was a pretty big struggle for us, but our guys stayed extremely focused and committed and we found a really good race car at the end. Its going to be interesting. There is a lot of different downforce levels and a lot of different things to watch for this race. I think it’s going to be a tricky one.  There were a lot of guys close to hitting the fence each and every lap so buckle up, this is definitely going to be an exciting one. But we feel good about the No. 15 car so let’s see how we do.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 13th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in eight of his 11 previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and 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 sixth in series standings with 142 points, only 53 out of second place.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: I think it was a nice Carb Day. We tried a couple of things we wanted to double check and we got what we want.  I believe we now are ready.  The three of us will now debrief and check the data.  The guys did a great job. I can’t wait until Sunday.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato earned his best start for the Indy 500 of third place for 2020.  His previous best was fourth in 2017…  Is the 2017 Champion of the Indy 500.  The 2020 race will be his 11th Indy 500 and third with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. He finished third for RLL in 2019 and was a contender in the final laps… Has FIVE IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway 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 road, Texas oval).  He is 17th in series standings with 99 points.

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 45 Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The final session before the big race was pretty tricky.  At the beginning the car was a little bit different than we expected. I don’t know if the track just changed a lot since Sunday or what but by the end of the session we definitely got our Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Honda feeling a lot better so we will take a look at what our teammates did and see what they found and put together a great car for Sunday hopefully.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth Indianapolis 500 and second with the team (2016).  His best start in the Indy 500 is third and his best finish is 14th – both in 2019 with Ed Carpenter Racing… He drove one of his best Indy car races to date with RLL earlier this year in the GMR Grand Prix. He started 16th and raced into the lead on Lap 55 but a likely podium finish evaporated after a mechanical failure led to his retirement after 74 of 80 laps. 

NEXT UP:  NBC will begin coverage of the 104th Indianapolis 500 at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 23.  Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 104th Indianapolis 500 via the six Digital Ally Garage Cameras on www.rahal.com during open garage hours.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES POLE DAY NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, August 16, 2020

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing104th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES POLE DAY NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, August 16, 2020

SATO EARNED HIS BEST START FOR THE INDY 500 OF THIRD PLACE; RAHAL AND PIGOT TO START EIGHTH AND 12TH RESPECTIVELY FOR THE 104TH INDIANAPOLIS 500

QUALIFYING SPEEDS
1st:    Marco Andretti           4-lap avg. speed of 231.068 mph     (L1: 231.826, L2: 231.146, L3: 230.771, L4: 230.532)  
3rd:    Takuma Sato            4-lap avg. speed of 230.725 mph     (L1: 230.805, L2: 230.916, L3: 230.659, L4: 230.520)  
8th:    Graham Rahal          4-lap avg. speed of 229.308 mph     (L1: 230.389, L2: 230.126, L3: 229.746, L4: 227.284)  

PRACTICE SPEEDS
1)         Marco Andretti              224.122 mph    
17)       Spencer Pigot               221.691 mph
26)       Takuma Sato                221.747 mph    
30)       Graham Rahal              231.235 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We qualified eighth, which we’ll take. We can race from there.  We feel like our race car is actually pretty good. It’s hard to tell in practice. We ended up 30th on the timesheets which doesn’t matter at all. We feel like we have a good race car, are able to pass a bunch of cars.  It’s going to be tough. You don’t know whether guys were on new or used tires during that run but I thought we were very, very competitive. I’m pleased with what we have. Obviously, we’re going to work on it before we go out there for Carb Day. With the wind today, we don’t know that we’re going to get wind this high come Carb Day or race weekend. If the wind goes away then a lot of people’s problems will certainly be less.  We feel good about the United Rentals car and if I say that, typically we are pretty solid so hopefully we’ve got something good to go race with.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal was in the Fast Nine Shootout today and set the eighth fastest time… Will be his 13th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in eight of his 11 previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and 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 sixth in series standings with 142 points, only 53 out of second place.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Starting on the front row is a big accomplishment for us.  It’s great for the Panasonic / PeopleReady Honda and the 30 boys. Everyone at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing worked hard over the off season to improve our performance here and the results showed today.  Honda, great, great work from them, just a tremendous job from them and the team.  Now we shift to preparing for the race.  We have another practice this afternoon that will be extremely important; also ‘Carb Day’ [final practice on Friday].  We believe we have a strong car in race trim, we’re so already looking forward to the race on Sunday.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Sato earned his best start for the Indy 500 of third place today.  His previous best was fourth in 2017…  Is the 2017 Champion of the Indy 500.  The 2020 race will be his 11th Indy 500 and third with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. He finished third for RLL in 2019 and was a contender in the final laps… Has FIVE IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway 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 road, Texas oval).  He is 17th in series standings with 99 points.

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 45 Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Today was definitely a bit better than our last practice day so that is positive. I think we are heading in the right direction with the Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Honda. It’s definitely difficult out there, especially towards the end of the session with the sun coming down and the Aeroscreen getting dirty and stuff. It’s tough in traffic. There is just not as much grip as in years past and the Aeroscreen gets really dirty as well, so it gets tricky to see. Overall I think we made some progress though so I will go back and compare notes with my teammates and do it again on Friday. .”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth Indianapolis 500 and second with the team (2016).  His best start in the Indy 500 is third and his best finish is 14th – both in 2019 with Ed Carpenter Racing… He drove one of his best Indy car races to date with RLL earlier this year in the GMR Grand Prix. He started 16th and raced into the lead on Lap 55 but a likely podium finish evaporated after a mechanical failure led to his retirement after 74 of 80 laps. 

NEXT UP: The team will continue preparations for the Indianapolis 500 this week and get back on track on Friday for Carb Day between 11-1 p.m. ET.  NBC will begin coverage of the 104th Indianapolis 500 at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 23.  Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 104th Indianapolis 500 via the six Digital Ally Garage Cameras on www.rahal.com.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – August 15, 2020

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing104th Running of the Indianapolis 500

NTT INDYCAR SERIES QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – August 15, 2020

RAHAL AND SATO SET TOP-NINE TIMES TO MAKE IT TO SUNDAY’S FAST NINE SHOOTOUT: PIGOT QUALIFIED 12TH FOR THE 104TH INDIANAPOLIS 500

1st:    Marco Andretti  4-lap avg. speed of 231.351 mph   (L1: 232.177, L2: 231.559, L3: 230.968, L4: 230.705)  
8th:    Graham Rahal  4-lap avg. speed of 230.822 mph   (L1: 231.102, L2: 230.876, L3: 230.740, L4: 230.572)  
9th:    Takuma Sato    4-lap avg. speed of 230.792 mph   (L1: 231.244, L2: 230.763, L3: 230.710, L4: 230.454)  
12th:  Spencer Pigot   4-lap avg. speed of 230.539 mph   (L1: 231.325, L2: 230.850, L3: 230.261, L4: 229.727)  

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I must say that I’m proud of our United Rentals team. Yes, we got an early draw. Yes, that was an advantage but at the same time, we did take advantage of it and we did make it work. We had a very consistent four-lap run today to start our day off and we made it to the Fast Nine tomorrow. The good thing is, we get to be in the Fast Nine. The nerve-racking thing is that we’re in the Fast Nine and we’ve got to do this again. Hopefully, we will have a good day tomorrow, but to have a top-three row start for the Indy 500, we’ll take it.  We can race from there.  We’ve definitely started a lot worse in recent years so we’ll take it.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal made two qualifying attempts today. He aborted the second attempt on the first lap after the rear of the car stepped out and he was perilously close to the wall. It was 30 degrees warmer than when he made his first run.  His initial 4-lap average held until the end of qualifying at 4:50 p.m. ET… Will be his 13th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in eight of his 11 previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and 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 sixth in series standings with 142 points, only 53 out of second place. 

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The car was extremely fast. I’m very happy for the job that the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team did.  We drew a really lucky position for qualifying order.  First for Graham and second for myself and Spencer seventh and we basically made the most of it with a top-nine for Graham and I. Unfortunately, Spencer missed only by a small amount but he was very competitive. All three cars are on a small pack which was a great job by the team.  For myself, I was on the bubble and was a little bit nervous the last two hours. The team did a great job and I was happy with the result. Tomorrow, if we can maybe jump up one row, it would be a bonus. But if not, I think we have confidence for the race car.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato made three qualifying attempts but his first was his fastest and enabled him to qualify to the Fast Nine Shootout on Sunday… 2017 Champion of the Indy 500.  The 2020 race will be his 11th Indy 500 and third with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. He finished third for RLL in 2019 and was a contender in the final laps… Has FIVE IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway 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 road, Texas oval).  He is 17th in series standings with 99 points.

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 45 Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Overall it was not a bad day. We had a solid run this morning that maybe could have been a little bit quicker to help us get in the Fast Nine. But at the end of the day, starting twelfth with three cars in the top-12 is a really good showing for the whole team. We can definitely race from there. It’s not a bad spot to be. Overall, I’m happy with the Hy-Vee car and we will get back on track tomorrow to work on our race setup.  Thanks to everyone at RLL and it was a good debut at the Indy 500 for Citrone/Buhl Autosport.”

  • FAST FACTS: Pigot made two qualifying attempts but his first was his best and ranked 12th fastest at the end of qualifying… Will be his fifth Indianapolis 500 and second with the team (2016).  His best start in the Indy 500 is third and his best finish is 14th – both in 2019 with Ed Carpenter Racing… He drove one of his best Indy car races to date with RLL earlier this year in the GMR Grand Prix. He started 16th and raced into the lead on Lap 55 but a likely podium finish evaporated after a mechanical failure led to his retirement after 74 of 80 laps. 

NEXT UP: Practice for the Fast Nine Shootout will take place from 11-11:30 a.m. ET with qualifying to set the top nine positions to take place from 1:15-2:15 p.m.  A final practice for the full field will be 3:30-6:00 p.m. NBC Gold will provide coverage from 11-11:30, 1-3 and 3:30-6:00.  NBC will air coverage from 1-3 p.m.  Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 104th Indianapolis 500 via the six Digital Ally Garage Cameras on www.rahal.com.

FAST FRIDAY NOTES/QUOTES – August 14, 2020

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing104th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
FAST FRIDAY NOTES/QUOTES – August 14, 2020

PIGOT FIFTH, SATO EIGHTH AND RAHAL 14TH FASTEST ON FAST FRIDAY; QUALIFYING BEGINS SATURDAY WITH RAHAL, SATO AND PIGOT QUALIFYING FIRST, SECOND AND SEVENTH IN ORDER

1)         Marco Andretti             233.491 mph   
5)         Spencer Pigot              232.116 mph
8)         Takuma Sato               231.880 mph   
14)       Graham Rahal             231.239 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s the end of day here at Indy on Fast Friday. I think we feel pretty good about where we stand. Our fastest no-tow lap is somewhere around 230.5 or 230.6 mph. Our four-lap average was the fourth or third fastest of everybody but there is one really critical thing as we go into tomorrow and it’s the draw. What time of day do you qualify? The key is, if you get an early draw and you’re a car that is right on that brink of making that top-nine or not, you’re going to be in. If you get a late draw and you’re a late car that’s on the brink, you’re not going to make it. We’re looking forward to tomorrow. I think we’ve got a good chance at advancing on and, my Lord, great job by Honda. The Honda’s look strong today.  Let’s see what happens tomorrow. We will try to get the United Rentals in the top-nine and go into the shootout on Sunday.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 13th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in eight of his 11 previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and 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 sixth in series standings with 142 points, only 53 out of second place.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Fast Friday was good, very exciting. There was a lot of boost, a lot of speed and 230 mph for the average. With the Aeroscreen obviously we lost downforce from last year but we’re going faster so it was very exciting. From my point of view and the team point of view, I think we made good progress. We’re not quite there yet. I’m a little worried about tomorrow in qualifying but hopefully overnight we will find some speed and the three of us will try to get in the top nine. Fingers crossed.  It was a very productive day.”

  • FAST FACTS: 2017 Champion of the Indy 500.  The 2020 race will be his 11th Indy 500 and third with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. He finished third for RLL in 2019 and was a contender in the final laps… Has FIVE IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway 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 road, Texas oval).  He is 17th in series standings with 99 points.

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 45 Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We had a pretty good day and ended up fifth overall. I think we were around the top-nine in the no-tow list. Overall, it was a solid day, we made some good gains in the Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh. Tomorrow is when it counts so it was good to get a good draw of seventh.  The earlier, the better. I’m looking forward to qualifying.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth Indianapolis 500 and second with the team (2016).  His best start in the Indy 500 is third and his best finish is 14th – both in 2019 with Ed Carpenter Racing… He drove one of his best Indy car races to date with RLL earlier this year in the GMR Grand Prix. He started 16th and raced into the lead on Lap 55 but a likely podium finish evaporated after a mechanical failure led to his retirement after 74 of 80 laps. 

NEXT UP: Qualifying will begin at 11 a.m. ET tomorrow and be broadcast on NBC Gold from 8:30-93:0 (practice) and 11-5.  NBC will air coverage from 3-5 p.m. Graham Rahal drew the first qualifying position, Takuma Sato drew the second and Spencer Pigot, seventh. Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 104th Indianapolis 500 via the Digital Ally Garage Camera on www.rahal.com.

Nissin Foods Returns as an Associate Sponsor of RLL for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500; To Appear on 2017 Indy 500 Winner Sato’s Entry

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (August 14, 2020) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Nissin Cup Noodles® will return as an associate sponsor of the team’s Indianapolis 500 entry for Takuma Sato, winner of the 2017 Indy 500. 
 
“It’s great to have Cup Noodles return to the team for the Indy 500,’ said Takuma Sato, driver of the No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. “I enjoyed visiting their facility in California, where they were very enthusiastic about Indy car racing. We finished third together last year and the goal is to finish two places higher this year, of course.”
 
Nissin Foods’ 2019 involvement was the first motorsports sponsorship for the company its 50-year history in the U.S. and they wanted to celebrate this partnership through the promotion of one of their flagship brands, Cup Noodles. The logo can be found on Sato’s side tire ramps and his race suit.
 
“Thanks to the fan excitement we received on our first collaboration with RLL, it was a no-brainer for Cup Noodles to continue racing with Takuma Sato,” explained Michael Price, President & CEO, Nissin Foods USA.
 
All on-track action from the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 can be seen on NBC Sports Gold, NBCSN or NBC. The first day of practice will be Wednesday, August 12 and qualifications for the race will be held on Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16. The 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will air live on NBC beginning at 1 p.m. E.T. on Sunday, August 23. For more information on the team or to view the preparations for the Indianapolis 500 from the team’s Digital Ally garage cameras, please visit www.rahal.com.

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SATO FASTEST MOST OF THE DAY BEFORE ENDING SECOND OVERALL; RAHAL AND PIGOT BOTH CONFIDENT WITH PROGRESS DURING PREPARATION FOR THE INDY 500

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing104th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
PRACTICE DAY NOTES/QUOTES – August 13, 2020

SATO FASTEST MOST OF THE DAY BEFORE ENDING SECOND OVERALL; RAHAL AND PIGOT BOTH CONFIDENT WITH PROGRESS DURING PREPARATION FOR THE INDY 500

1)         Scott Dixon          226.102 mph   
2)         Takuma Sato        225.693 mph   
19)       Graham Rahal     223.297 mph
22)       Spencer Pigot     223.043 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara / Honda / Firestone:  “We had a really good day for the No. 15 United Rentals team. We tried a lot so we stopped a little bit early because we’ve got a lot of data to go through. We did a couple of long runs and the last one in particular felt really good. We seemed to be competitive. Its tough out there; It’s tough to follow, but we were able to pass some cars which I’m pleased about. We’ve got a couple of little issues to work on, mainly left rear tire vibration which we think is self-induced so we will focus on that and try to get it better for tomorrow. Obviously tomorrow we turn up the boost a ton and we’re going to do a lot of qualifying sims so you won’t see as much race running so it will be interesting to see how the next couple of days go.  But feel like our car has some good pace. I feel like it was good in the race run so here we go. Let’s see how the weekend turns out.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 13th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in eight of his 11 previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and 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 sixth in series standings with 142 points, only 53 out of second place.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara / Honda / Firestone:  “I’m pretty happy. I think it was quite a productive day. Obviously the scoreboard was nice, being in the first place and second place felt good. It means nothing, but I think that’s a reflection of the cars getting quite a good adhesion. You get in a big tow, you able to follow people with the new tire.  Obviously that pure speed is far off from non-tow situation but I’m pretty happy with that speed. In the traffic run, which is very difficult this year, with the Aeroscreen the air efficiency goes down, and it is very difficult to overtake. I think we were landing on a good pace. Overall, I think it was a very good day.”

  • FAST FACTS: 2017 Champion of the Indy 500.  The 2020 race will be his 11th Indy 500 and third with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. He finished third for RLL in 2019 and was a contender in the final laps… Has FIVE IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway 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 road, Texas oval).  He is 17th in series standings with 99 points.

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 45 Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Dallara / Honda / Firestone: “The day was okay.  Again, it seemed to be a little better.  Before we stopped for lunch I think we had a few things that we didn’t quite get a handle on today but we definitely made some good changes throughout the day to the Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh car so we will try to build on those for the next time we do race running. But now we will focus on getting speed out of it and go as fast as we can tomorrow and get ready for qualifying. It’s always exciting when the boost gets turned up. It’s definitely a little different going a lot faster with less downforce. We’re just trying to get the opposite of today where we were looking for traffic, running with cars to improve our race setup and now we’re looking to be all by ourselves. It’s a totally different mindset but Fast Friday is always a fun day.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth Indianapolis 500 and second with the team (2016).  His best start in the Indy 500 is third and his best finish is 14th – both in 2019 with Ed Carpenter Racing… He drove one of his best Indy car races to date with RLL earlier this year in the GMR Grand Prix. He started 16th and raced into the lead on Lap 55 but a likely podium finish evaporated after a mechanical failure led to his retirement after 74 of 80 laps. 

NEXT UP: Fast Friday will take place from 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET tomorrow. Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 104th Indianapolis 500 via the Digital Ally Garage Camera on www.rahal.com.

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SATO, RAHAL AND PIGOT HAVE A PRODUCTIVE OPENING DAY AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN PREPARATION FOR THE INDY 500

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
104th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
OPENING DAY NOTES/QUOTES – August 12, 2020

SATO, RAHAL AND PIGOT HAVE A PRODUCTIVE OPENING DAY AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN PREPARATION FOR THE INDY 500

1)         James Hinchcliffe   224.526 mph   
13)       Takuma Sato            221.551 mph   
25)       Graham Rahal          221.498 mph
26)       Spencer Pigot          221.492 mph


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara / Honda / Firestone: “It’s the end of Day 1 here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and I think it was a solid day for our team.  I know that sometimes on the time sheets it doesn’t look like it though. I didn’t get the big tow, in the traffic on new tires, light fuel and all that sort of stuff. In fact our goal today was to use as little tires as possible. We ended up running two sets of tires almost two full stints per set so I’m pleased with that, pleased with the consistency of the car. Obviously we need to find a little bit of speed, find a little more grip in traffic and I think every driver here is saying that tonight. And if you saw us on track, its definitely quite a challenge for sure.  We’re going to sit down with the engineers and try to work on not only the United Rentals car but also our teammates and hopefully we can get Takuma and Spencer a little more competitive as well. The team had a long list of things we wanted to get done and we got those done so now we can go forward from here.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 13th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in eight of his 11 previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and 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 sixth in series standings with 142 points, only 53 out of second place.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara / Honda / Firestone: “We’re back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it is a very happy time for us.  This is a moment we waited for, for a long time. Its August but it is a fantastic feeling. We jumped in the car and went fast, not 230 mph yet because of the boost level today, but it’s a great feeling. We did a number of test items today, splitting over three cars because this year the schedule is compressed a lot. We literally have today and tomorrow for the race setup and then Friday is Fast Friday. There is still a lot of work to be done but we did a solo run and a group run and were relatively competitive so it was a very good day.” 

  • FAST FACTS: 2017 Champion of the Indy 500.  The 2020 race will be his 11th Indy 500 and third with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. He finished third for RLL in 2019 and was a contender in the final laps… Has FIVE IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway 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 road, Texas oval).  He is 17th in series standings with 99 points.

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 45 Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh Dallara / Honda / Firestone: “Overall it’s good to be back at Indy. I think we’ve all waited a long time for this so it’s nice to be here. On track, things went pretty well in the first session. Its cool to be going those speeds again. I haven’t been on an oval since late August last year so it felt great to go over 220 mph again. The No. 45 Hy-Vee / Embrace Pittsburgh car looks great. I thought we made some good improvements and changes and the car was feeling pretty good.  The afternoon was a little tougher for us.  We tried some things on our list and, even if we don’t go that direction, it was good to get some reads and data on that. We definitely have a good idea of what we want from the car so hopefully tomorrow we can find it.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth Indianapolis 500 and second with the team (2016).  His best start in the Indy 500 is third and his best finish is 14th – both in 2019 with Ed Carpenter Racing… He drove one of his best Indy car races to date with RLL earlier this year in the GMR Grand Prix. He started 16th and raced into the lead on Lap 55 but a likely podium finish evaporated after a mechanical failure led to his retirement after 74 of 80 laps. 

ABOUT TAKUMA SATO’S CO-PRIMARY SPONSOR PEOPLEREADY
PeopleReady has been an associate sponsor on Takuma Sato’s No. 30 entry in 2020 and will be the co-primary sponsor for the Indy 500. PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE:TBI), specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor, as well as highly-skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform, PeopleReady serves more than 130,000 businesses and puts more than 300,000 people to work each year, operating more than 600 branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Learn more at www.peopleready.com.

NEXT UP: Practice will take place from 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET tomorrow. Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 104th Indianapolis 500 via the Digital Ally Garage Camera on www.rahal.com.

HY-VEE TO PARTNER WITH RLL ON SPENCER PIGOT’S ENTRY AT THE 104TH INDIANAPOLIS 500

Hy-Vee will also be an associate sponsor of Graham Rahal’s Indy 500 entry

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (August 11, 2020) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Hy-Vee, Inc., an employee-owned supermarket chain that operates more than 275 retail stores across eight Midwestern states, will be the primary sponsor of Spencer Pigot’s No. 45 NTT INDYCAR SERIES entry at the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, August 23. Hy-Vee will also be an associate sponsor of Graham Rahal’s entry for the Indy 500. Rahal finished third in the Hy-Vee Honda in Race 2 of the Iowa INDYCAR 250s on July 18.

“We are excited for the opportunity to build on the success our partnership with Hy-Vee produced at Iowa Speedway when Graham earned his second podium finish of the season with third place,” said Bobby Rahal, team co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing along with David Letterman and Michael Lanigan. “It’s great to be able to expand on that and have Hy-Vee join us as the primary on Spencer Pigot’s entry. Spencer already had one impressive race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year and we have high expectations for more of the same at the Indy 500. Much like the fans of Indy car racing, Hy-Vee has a loyal customer base and we appreciate their support as we prepare for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“This year, the 104th Indianapolis 500 will set records with the number of fans watching it from their homes, and when the opportunity to be a part of it became available, we immediately knew we wanted in on the excitement,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. “While Hy-Vee mainly has a presence in eight Midwestern states, our company and our customer base spans across the country. With subsidiaries and employees located throughout the nation, we look forward to supporting racing fans with our sponsorship of Spencer Pigot and Graham Rahal’s entries at the Brickyard.”

Orlando, Florida native Pigot, 26, earned back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015 in the INDYCAR Ladder Series with his 2014 Pro Mazda championship and 2015 Indy Lights title. He made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut with RLL in 2016 in the St. Petersburg season opener and also competed in the INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the team. He made an additional seven starts for Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) that year and joined ECR fulltime from 2017-2019 with a career best start of third place at the 2019 Indy 500 and career best finish of second place at Iowa Speedway in 2018. At the 2020 GMR Grand Prix at IMS with RLL, Pigot led the race and looked likely to earn a podium finish until he retired from the event after a mechanical failure.

All on-track action from the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 can be seen on NBC Sports Gold, NBCSN or NBC. The first day of practice will be Wednesday, August 12, and qualifications for the race will be held on Saturday, August 15, and Sunday, August 16. The 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will air live on NBC beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 23. For more information about the series or team, visit www.indycar.com and www.rahal.com.

Rahal Earned His Second Podium of the Season With Third Place in Race 2 of the Iowa INDYCAR 250s; Sato Struggled With Handling And Finished 21st

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Iowa INDYCAR 250s – Iowa Speedway
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE 2 NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, July 18, 2020

RAHAL EARNED HIS SECOND PODIUM OF THE SEASON WITH THIRD PLACE IN RACE 2 OF THE IOWA INDYCAR 250s AT IOWA SPEEDWAY; SATO STRUGGLED WITH HANDLING AND FINISHED 21ST

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The Hy-Vee car came in third and I think we actually had the best car on track tonight. We passed a ton of cars. It was just hard at the end when Will was driving on the same line as me. It was difficult up high to get the grip to go by. Thanks to Hy-Vee for coming on board this weekend and thanks to Honda; the motor was a rocket. We’re proud to be powered by Honda. It was a great run right there and just a good rebound for our team after starting in the back. I’m super excited with P3 and we’re moving up in the championship. The entire team worked awfully hard. It was a great showing for Hy-Vee, thanks for coming onboard.  And even better, we raised $24,900 for Turns for Troops with United Rentals this weekend which is awesome.”

  • FAST FACTS: After setting the eighth fastest time in the pre-race practice, he started his 14th race here from 19th place.  He extended his stint the longest and made his first stops from the lead on Lap 63. Due to track position, he went a lap down but was able to get it back by Lap 84 before he made his second stop from the lead on Lap 119 under caution for Carpenter once the pits opened. He returned to the track in fourth place and closed on third place Power before passing him on Lap 129 for third. He cycled back into the lead on Laps 171-174 before his third stop on Lap 175 and had moved into sixth a few laps later when Hunter-Reay brought out a caution. After the pits opened, a few drivers made stops and he restarted in fourth place. Once third place Daly made his stop, Rahal moved into third on Lap 216 and held it until the checkered flag…  He has earned eight top-10 finishes in 12 starts with his best being fourth in 2015. … Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… He moved into a tie for fifth place with second-place finisher Will Power with a total of 142 points.
Graham Rahal on the podium at Iowa Speedway (Photo Courtesy of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I had a massive handling problem. The car was very loose. We had to come back to the pits for an extra, emergency, pit stop to reduce the seven turns of front wing, down, which is something unusual. We haven’t looked at the car yet to see if there was something wrong but it was a tough, long night. Congrats to Graham. He did a great job for the 15 team”

  • FAST FACTS: After running the fifth fastest time in the pre-race practice, he started from 20th place but struggled with the handling of his race car for the duration of the race and finished 21st…  In his previous 11 races at Iowa Speedway, Takuma’s best start is pole in 2011 with KV Racing where he also led seven laps and his best finish is third place in 2018… 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 dropped from 15th to 17th in series point standings with 99 after his streak of top-10 finishes ended.

RLL AT IOWA:  The best finish for the team is third by Rahal today, 2018 by Takuma Sato and 2007 by Scott Sharp who also earned the top start for the team of fourth the same year.  The team has earned three podiums (3rd – Sharp 2007, Sato 2018, Rahal 2020) and 10, top-10 finishes at the track.   

NEXT UP: The series will take next two weeks off before heading to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 300 on August 8-9.

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Sato and Rahal Finished 10th and 12th in Race 1 of the Iowa INDYCAR 250s; Sato Led 49 of 250 Laps

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Iowa INDYCAR 250s – Iowa Speedway
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE 1 NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, July 17, 2020

SATO AND RAHAL FINISHED 10TH AND 12TH IN RACE 1 OF THE IOWA INDYCAR 250s AT IOWA SPEEDWAY; SATO LED 49 OF 250 LAPS

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 One Cure Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was kind of an up and down nights for us. I thought that the One Cure car had periods in the race where we were okay and were able to make up time. You look, we fell down a lap very early in the race and we only finished two down so obviously the pace was alright through the middle stints but we put ourselves in a hole to begin but then we got around some guys a couple of times – it was hard to get by,  and kind of lost track there a little bit. But I thought our guys did a good job in the pits; I thought the strategy was fine. We had one set of tires that we struggled on but other than that we were just kind of trying to work our way to the front. Obviously, Simon did a great job. But when you start where we did and struggled like we did today, it is hard to win a race like this. Hopefully tomorrow is a little better.”

  • FAST FACTS: He started his 13th race here from 21st place and stayed on the lead lap until Lap 23 of 250. The team was on a four-stop strategy and the handling appeared to improve mid-to-late race but he reported a vibration and struggled with the handling of the car so he made another stop from 10th place on Lap 227 and ultimately finished 12th…  He has earned eight top-10 finishes in 12 starts with his best being fourth in 2015. … Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… He moved up from a tie for eighth place in series point standings to seventh with a total of 106 points.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I was a tough race but I think we improved a lot in the race although obviously were not able to change the car between qualifying and the race. We focused for the race (in practice) and I think that was right. At one stage we led the race and we were competing in the top three, top five, but unfortunately on the last period of the yellows we decided to divide the two stints so we pitted. Most of the people who finished high today basically stayed out. We need to review the strategy. Nobody knew how it would play out until we finished. I think the boys did a great job and I think we gained quite a lot of good experience today so we should be better tomorrow.”

Takuma Sato on track at the Iowa Speedway (Photo Courtesy of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)
  • FAST FACTS: Qualified sixth and held the position until his first of four planned stops on Lap 46. He was on fresher tires and the strategy appeared to play out perfectly as the race went on and he took the lead from Laps 78-126 and built a comfortable lead over second place Power, that slowly was reduced as the stint wore on. When a caution came out for contact between Herta and VeeKay, from Laps 144-169, the team elected not to pit from third place when the pits opened but the strategy later benefitted others that did. Compounding that, most front runners were able to stretch their fuel until the end due to the previous long caution but Sato made his final stop under green on Lap 193 of 250… In his previous 10 races at Iowa Speedway, Takuma’s best start is pole in 2011 with KV Racing where he also led seven laps and his best finish is third place in 2018… 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 up to 15th in series point standings with 90 after top-10 finishes in the past four races.  

RLL AT IOWA: The Iowa INDYCAR 250s will mark the 11th and 12th events for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Iowa Speedway.  The best finish for the team is third in 2018 by Takuma Sato and 2007 by Scott Sharp who also earned the top start for the team of fourth the same year.  The team has earned two podiums (3rd – Sharp 2007, Sato 2018) and nine, top-10 finishes at the track.   

NEXT UP: Practice 2 will take place tomorrow from 2:30-3:30 p.m. CT.  Race 2 of the Iowa INDYCAR 250s will take the Green Flag at 7:45 p.m. ET.  NBCSN will begin live coverage of the race at 8:30 p.m. ET.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes commentary by the INDYCAR Radio Network.

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