Archives for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing PR

Rahal Was Fifth Fastest in Practice for the REV Group Grand Prix of Road America; Sato Was 13th

#15: Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingREV Group Grand Prix at Road America
NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Round 9 of 16
PRACTICE NOTES / QUOTES – Friday, June 18, 2021

RAHAL WAS FIFTH FASTEST IN PRACTICE FOR THE REV GROUP GRAND PRIX AT ROAD AMERICA; SATO WAS 13TH

1)         Romain Grosjean      1:47.6781 / 134.200 mph
5)         Graham Rahal           1:48.0938 / 133.684 mph
13)       Takuma Sato             1:48.4566 / 133.237 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “A brief Day 1 has come to a close here at Road America. The HyVee car rolled off competitive, we were P4 most of the session and ended up fifth due to some guys putting new tires on at the end and we did not on the HyVee machine. The boys have done an excellent job prepping this car getting this car ready to go. We feel good, we feel competitive, but the track is a major trick this weekend, already we can tell the grip is way off of what we’ve ever felt here before. The tire is supposed to be the same as last year, however the degradation is even worse than it was last year.  The deg is one lap, or one to two laps and the tires are gone so it’s going to be a huge challenge this weekend but I’m looking forward to it, and looking forward to seeing what we can do. I’m going to hang on out there and try and get this Hy-Vee car up front.”

  • FAST FACTS: The REV Group Grand Prix at Road America will be Graham Rahal’s eighth Indy car race here and 12th overall. In seven Indy car races here, his top finishes are two third place (2007, 2016), a fourth place (2019), sixth (2018) and eighth (2017). Last year he matched his best start of fourth place for Race 1 and passed second place starter Harvey for third by Turn 1. He held the position and set his fastest lap of the race on Lap 8 when he passed Hunter-Reay for second. He started pursuit of leader Newgarden and closed the gap by 0.4 seconds as the pit window began to open between laps 12-14. He ran between 2.2-2.5-seconds behind Newgarden and took over the lead on Lap 13 when he pit. When he made his first of three stops on the following lap, he held a 4.3-second lead on Ferrucci. There was a problem with the fueling and the extended seconds in the pit dropped him to 11th place and 21-seconds behind the leader when he returned to the track. By the time the second pit stops started to take place, he cycled up to sixth before making his second stop on Lap 27 of 55. He settled into eighth place and moved into seventh when Harvey appeared to have a car issue that brought out the full course caution. The field made their third stops once the pits opened. Rahal held seventh through the restart and was unable to hold off a last lap charge by Ericcson, who had more Push-to-Pass, but then spun off course and Rahal took the checkered flag in seventh to keep his top-10 finish streak at the track alive. Rahal planned to realize the potential of a fast car on one of his favorite tracks in Race 2 but didn’t make it past the opening lap after qualifying fifth when he was hit by Will Power in Turn 3. The hard hit sent him off course and into two different concrete walls in Turn 3. Power had previously made contact with Hunter-Reay in Turn 1 and was penalized for “avoidable contact” and had to go to the back of the field for the restart… 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 in eighth place in series point standings with a total of 209.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s good to be back at Road America one of the most challenging tracks in the United States. I think the session was okay, it’s quite a short session and we did probably four runs, with one set of tires and it’s always difficult.  It seems like quite a big drop off (on the tire). The first outing was the best lap time, but then we gathered quite good data (for qualifying and the race) and we need to look at the balance and stability which is the most challenging for this track so hopefully tomorrow will be better.  Today was so-so.”

  • FAST FACTS: The 2021 REV Group Grand Prix will be Takuma Sato’s seventh race at the four-mile, 14-turn course. His best start here of sixth place came in 2019 with RLL and his best finish of fourth came in 2018 – also with RLL.  In six races, he has two top-10 starts and four top-10 finishes, all coming since 2018.  Last year, Sato started 15th and on the harder primary tires. He was pushed off course by Veach on the start and dropped to 22nd but regained a few spots as Andretti and Rossi had to pit. On Lap 9, the team elected to pit him for the faster alternate tires so he could make up some ground. He was up to 15th by his second stop and then 12th for his third stop when the field pit under caution for Harvey. He restarted in 11th place and moved into 10th when O’Ward and Pagenaud made contact and the latter dropped back. Then he moved into ninth when Ericsson went off course on the last lap.  In Race 2, he started 12th and had to take evasive action on the opening lap from the contact ahead and lost positions to Newgarden, Veach, Kimball, Andretti, Ericsson and VeeKay.  He ran 14th until others began to make stops and cycled up to fourth before he made his first stop on Lap 16 of 55. He returned to run 14th until the next cycle began and he moved up to fourth again before his second stop on Lap 28. A few cars pit and he later passed Power for ninth place on Lap 37. He was up to eighth place when he made his final stop and returned to the track in the same position. He had to stretch his fuel which enabled ninth place runner Newgarden to close a two-second gap to 0.4 by the final lap but Sato held him off to finish eighth… Has SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 500 ) and 10 poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2).  He is 10th in series point standings with 181.

NEXT UP:  Practice 2 will take place from 10:10-10:55 a.m. CT tomorrow and qualifying will begin at 1:30. Final warm-up will conclude the day’s activities from 4:30-5:00. Sunday’s REV Group Grand Prix of Road America will take the Green Flag at 11:45 a.m. CT and coverage will begin on NBCSN at 12 noon ET.

After Competitive Runs in Recent Years, Rahal and Sato Look Forward to the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
REV Group Grand Prix at Road America
Round 9 of 16 in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES

DATE:     June 18-20, 2021

PRACTICE BROADCAST:     Live on Peacock Premium on Friday from 5:00 – 5:45 p.m. ET and on Saturday from 11:10 – 11:55 a.m. and 5:30 – 6 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 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. ET Saturday. Tape delayed on NBCSN from 12-1:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.

RACE BROADCAST:     Live on NBCSN Sunday, June 20 from 12:00 – 2:45 p.m. ET. And also on Peacock Premium, IRN, Sirius 211 and XM 205

TRACK LAYOUT:     4.048-mile, 14-turn permanent road course
RACE LENGTH:     55 laps / 222.6 miles
2020 WINNER(S):     Scott Dixon (Race 1) and Felix Rosenqvist (Race 2)
2020 POLESITTER(S):     Josef Newgarden (1:45.5191 / 136.946 mph; R1), Pato O’Ward (1:44.8971 / 137.758 mph; R2)                     

RAHAL’S BEST ROAD AMERICA START / FINISH:     4th in 2007 (NHLR) and 2020 (RLL; Race 1) / 3rd in 2007 & 2016; will be his 8th Indy car race here
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     3 poles – Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017 / 6 wins – 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana & Mid-Ohio 2015, Texas 2016, Detroit Race 1 & Race 2 2017

SATO’S BEST ROAD AMERICA START / FINISH:     6th in 2019 / 4th in 2018 – both with RLL; will be 7th 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, St. Louis (oval; Race 2) 2020 / 6 Wins – Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017), Portland (2018), Barber (2019), St. Louis (2019), Indianapolis 500 (2020)

RLL’S BEST START / FINISH AT ROAD AMERICA:     1st – Kenny Brack (2001) / 2nd – Bobby Rahal (1996); 19 races here


NEWS & NOTES:

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT ROAD AMERICA
The 2020 REV Group Grand Prix at Road America doubleheaders will mark the 19 time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete in an Indy car race here.  The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races here from 1992-2003 and again since 2016 with a best starting position of pole by Kenny Brack in 2001 and best finish of second place by Bobby Rahal in 1996. The team has earned a total of five podium finishes here (2nd – B. Rahal 1996; 3rd – B. Rahal 1992-1993, Kenny Brack 2000, Graham Rahal 2016).

Prior to 2021, the team prepared a total of 32 Indy car entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain (2002-2003), Graham Rahal (2016-2020; two races in ‘20) and Takuma Sato (2018-2020; two races in ‘20).  The team will enter the No. 15 Hy-Vee entry for Graham Rahal and the No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack entry for Takuma Sato to bring that total to 34 in 2020.  The team has also competed in ALMS and IMSA-sanctioned races here under the name BMW Team RLL since 2009 and has three wins (2009, 2010, 2012), three poles (2009, 2011, 2014) and a total of nine podium finishes here.

RAHAL AIMING TO BETTER STRING OF TOP-FIVE FINISHES
The REV Group Grand Prix at Road America will be Graham Rahal’s eighth Champ or Indy car race here and 12th overall. In seven Indy car races here, he has two third place finishes (2007, 2016), a fourth place (2019), sixth (2018) and eighth (2017). Last year he matched his best start of fourth place for Race 1 and passed second place starter Harvey for third by Turn 1. He held the position and set his fastest lap of the race on Lap 8 when he passed Hunter-Reay for second. He started pursuit of leader Newgarden and closed the gap by 0.4 seconds as the pit window began to open between laps 12-14. He ran between 2.2-2.5-seconds behind Newgarden and took over the lead on Lap 13 when he pit. When he made his first of three stops on the following lap, he held a 4.3-second lead on Ferrucci. There was a problem with the fueling and the extended seconds in the pit dropped him to 11th place and 21-seconds behind the leader when he returned to the track. By the time the second pit stops started to take place, he cycled up to sixth before making his second stop on Lap 27 of 55. He settled into eighth place and moved into seventh when Harvey appeared to have a car issue that brought out the full course caution. The field made their third stops once the pits opened. Rahal held seventh through the restart and was unable to hold off a last lap charge by Ericcson, who had more Push-to-Pass, but then spun off course and Rahal took the checkered flag in seventh to keep his top-10 finish streak at the track alive. Rahal planned to realize the potential of a fast car on one of his favorite tracks in Race 2 but didn’t make it past the opening lap after qualifying fifth when he was hit by Will Power in Turn 3. The hard hit sent him off course and into two different concrete walls in Turn 3. Power had previously made contact with Hunter-Reay in Turn 1 and was penalized for “avoidable contact” and had to go to the back of the field for the restart. He is hoping to capitalize on historically strong performances at Road America. 
            “Last year we had a really strong run at Road America. In fact, we had a great chance to win it on the Saturday race and had a little bit of an issue with a pit stop, but the boys rebounded well.  Unfortunately, on Sunday we didn’t even get a chance to go race. We got taken out in the second corner and, that was kind of our day done, but our team has been excellent this year. I think even when we’ve started in the back and we haven’t quite had the qualifying pace, our boys have done a great job with strategy. The car has been fast in the race, we’ve been able to go forward and we expect the same thing in the Hy-Vee car this weekend, and we’re looking forward to it.”

TAKUMA LOOKS FORWARD TO CARRYING OVER THE COMPETITIVENESS AT ROAD AMERICA
The 2021 REV Group Grand Prix will be Takuma Sato’s seventh race at the four-mile, 14-turn course. His best start here of sixth place came in 2019 with RLL and his best finish of fourth came in 2018 – also with RLL.  In six races, he has two top-10 starts and four top-10 finishes, all coming since 2018.  Last year, Sato started 15th and on the harder primary tires. He was pushed off course by Veach on the start and dropped to 22nd but regained a few spots as Andretti and Rossi had to pit. On Lap 9, the team elected to pit him for the faster alternate tires so he could make up some ground. He was up to 15th by his second stop and then 12th for his third stop when the field pit under caution for Harvey. He restarted in 11th place and moved into 10th when O’Ward and Pagenaud made contact and the latter dropped back. Then he moved into ninth when Ericsson went off course on the last lap.  In Race 2, he started 12th and had to take evasive action on the opening lap from the contact ahead and lost positions to Newgarden, Veach, Kimball, Andretti, Ericsson and VeeKay.  He ran 14th until others began to make stops and cycled up to fourth before he made his first stop on Lap 16 of 55. He returned to run 14th until the next cycle began and he moved up to fourth again before his second stop on Lap 28. A few cars pit and he later passed Power for ninth place on Lap 37. He was up to eighth place when he made his final stop and returned to the track in the same position. He had to stretch his fuel which enabled ninth place runner Newgarden to close a two-second gap to 0.4 by the final lap but Sato held him off to finish eighth. Sato believes the
            “Last year and the year before, we were relatively very competitive. And after Barber this year for the road course and two street courses — St Petersburg and Detroit — both felt very competitive. The construction of tires and philosophy is different from street course to road course, but I think we have a good package. This year after last year’s study I think we have an even more competitive package. After Detroit it’s going to be back-to-back, so it’s going to be quite busy for the boys to prepare the car but we are all looking forward to going back to Elkhart Lake with very enthusiastic fans.  We are very, very excited so we are looking forward to the weekend.”

RAHAL ON HIS SEASON TO DATE
“When I look at this season, we’ve had tons of top five’s and a seventh (place) at Barber.  Unfortunately, we have a big miss at St. Pete where we were, again, running in the top five and the Indy 500 where we were running right at the front. Those two races have really hurt us in our championship chase. But, when you look at on the average, what you need to do to be a champion in the INDYCAR SERIES, we’ve done that. It’s just our misses have been bad so we need to keep our heads down, we need to get a win and we feel like Road America is a great spot to do it.  We’re excited to be in the Hy-Vee car this weekend. From a family perspective, Road America has always been a great place to go and race. And we’re excited to get back up there.”

RAHAL AND SATO ON ROAD AMERICA
“My favorite part of Road America is probably the carousel,” said Rahal. “Turn one is awesome too, just the high speed cornering, really on the edge of your seat, pushing the car as hard as you can, that’s really cool. My least favorite, honestly it sounds ridiculous, but it’s probably just leaving there at the end of the weekend. I love Road America, everything about that place, the environment that it has, the fans that it brings, and the special aspect it has for my family. This is a weekend I look forward to every single year. And when we leave there it’s always a bummer to think its one more year until we get to come back and try again.”
           “Road America is one of the fastest and most challenging racetracks, and a fan favorite in the United States because there is so much history, it’s quite classic, has long straights, heavy braking, high-speed sweeping corners, and it’s a beautiful track,” added Sato. “In order to go fast over there you need to have a relatively low downforce road course package but that’s always against for the braking stability where you really need it. And it shortens the braking, you’re not going to have it with low downforce. Having a good balance is always important and I think we have a very good package.”

RAHAL RETURNS TO THE HY-VEE ENTRY
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. They returned to the team this season as the primary sponsor of Rahal’s entry for races at Road America and World Wide Technology Raceway (August 21) as well as a full season associate sponsor. Rahal is looking forward to running their red and white corporate colors at one of his favorite races of the season.
            “I am extremely proud to be associated with Hy-Vee. Sponsorship is great and it’s what allows us to race but to do what Hy-Vee has done with Lukas and Abbey, coming to the 500 and the smile that it put on Lukas’s face, it’s something I’ll never forget. But then their promotional aspect is great as well. If you look at what they’ve done in all their stores with the signs absolutely everywhere, the race day grill packages and everything else that they’ve given to their customers as options is awesome. They have just completely hit it out of the park with their activation. We’re excited by the energy that they’ve supplied the team and their enthusiasm for what we’re doing. We’re looking forward to this weekend. It’s my first time this year being in the Hy-Vee car and, I hope it’s the first of many, many more to come in the future.”

FIRST FATHER’S DAY FOR RAHAL AT ROAD AMERICA
“I’m looking forward to getting up there. Obviously it’s my first Father’s Day, and being at Road America for it is pretty cool. It’s also my wife’s birthday so I’ve got a double header going on there.  But for me it brings back a lot of memories of my grandfather and my father, going up there as a kid myself and now I’ve got my own daughter. It’s (being a father) a whole different world. I tell people this all the time, every day is a new evolution. But I’m looking forward to going to a very special place for the Rahal family, Father’s Day weekend and to have my daughter Harlan with me.”

POINT STANDINGS AFTER 8 OF 16 RACES
Heading into Round 9 at the REV Group Grand Prix, Rahal has a total of 209 points and is ranked eighth overall. He trails leader Pato O’Ward by 90 (299) and fifth place Reenus VeeKay by 34 (243). Takuma Sato is 10th with 181.

Dual 2 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingChevrolet Detroit Grand Prix – Dual 2
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – June 13, 2021


RAHAL, FERRUCCI AND SATO FINISHED FIFTH, TENTH AND TWELFTH IN DUAL 2 OF THE CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX

GRAHAM RAHAL, 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Race 2 is done here in Belle Isle and another top 5 for the United Rentals team today. The boys did a great job in the pits, also did a great job getting Santino’s car fixed up and ready to race, so thank you to all three teams for making that happen. It was a really solid day, I thought we were heading for, really, a kind of smooth top three, top four finish, obviously running fourth but kind of catching Palou.  I thought we were going to be in a good spot but it just kind of went away from us a little bit on the restarts. Great job to Pato but I just can’t seem to generate temperature on restarts so we have to figure that out. Solid weekend, solid points, and on to Road America.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal qualified 9th for the race and passed three cars on the start when he passed Daly and Dixon and Grosjean, who made contact. He moved into fifth when Veekay pit under caution. He passed Rossi, who had wing damage from the opening-lap contact, on Lap 11 and held fourth until his first stop on Lap 20. He ran fourth for most of the race but was passed by eventual winner O’Ward after the final restart on Lap 64/70 and finished fifth in his 17th race here… In 2019, he earned two seventh place finishes. Rahal’s most successful race weekend came in Detroit in 2017 where he won Dual 1 from pole and won Dual 2 from a third place start. His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015.  Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 15 races 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 maintained his eighth place rank in series point standings with a total of 209 points after eight of 16 races.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The second race in Detroit was a tough race. I think on the relative (to Saturday), we lost speed unfortunately. Qualifying didn’t go well, we got 19th but like yesterday we fought really strong and I think the strategy was quite good. But I think my racecar unfortunately didn’t get a good speed out of that so I couldn’t quite get to the front. It was tough; top 10 was possible today but we ended up in P12 which wasn’t ideal after yesterday’s P4. Nevertheless, I think we collected quite good data today, and we still have Nashville and Long Beach’s street courses for the rest of the season. Hopefully we will be gearing up for the rest of the season.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato qualified 19th and moved up to 15th on the opening lap after Dixon and Grosjean made contact and Chilton also made contact with a car ahead, in separate incidents. Under FCC for contact, Sato went for a three-stop strategy and took advantage of the opportunity to pit to exchange his alternate tires. He retuned to the track in 20th and steadily climbed as high as fourth by Lap 21before his second stop on Lap 26. He returnd to the track in 15th and settled into 13th place until the next pit cycle started and he climbed into 9th before stopping on Lap 46. He ran 12th during the stint, behind teammate Ferrucci part of the time. On a restart on Lap 58, Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci fought for position and Sato was able to jump into 10th place. Grosjean brought out a caution when he stopped on course with a small fire and on the restart from that, Sato ran wide while fighting with Hunter-Reay and dropped back to 12th, where he took the checkered flag in his 17th race here…  In his previous 15 races, his best start is two poles (2014 with A.J. Foyt Racing, 2017 with Andretti Autosport), best finish is second in 2015 with AFR and third in 2019 with RLL and he has led a total of 44 laps in three races.  He started in the top-five in four of 15 races and earned four, top-five and six, top-10 finishes. In 2019, he started ninth and finished third in Race 1. In Race 2, he started 16th and finished 13th… Has SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 500 ) and 10 poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2).  He maintained 10th in the point standings with 181 points.

SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Hats off to this RLL crew.  We rebuilt a car – rebuilt! We rolled one out from the top of the hauler within two hours flat and somehow we made this race. We started 12th, finished 10th, we didn’t even put a setup on the car, we just raced it. Hats off to these guys; we had a hell of a day.  I cannot thank Hy-Vee enough, Frito-Lay, all our partners at RLL, everybody who helped out from the 15 car, to the 30 car to get this thing ready for us to race today.”

  • FAST FACTS: Ferrucci had set a time in qualifying to put him in a fourth place starting position but he crashed and brought out a red flag, which took away his two fastest laps and he ended 12th in the session. All three crews took the entire break before the race to get Sato’s backup car ready for the race with the 45 Hy-Vee crew rushing it to the grid before the command “Gentlemen Start Your Engines.” Ferrucci moved from 12th to 10th on the opening lap when Dixon and Grosjean made contact. When Veekay pit under caution on Lap 2/70, he moved into 9th and then climbed into sixth by Lap 15 as various pit strategies went into play. He made his first stop on Lap 19 and returned to the track in 12th. Once most made their stops, he settled into eighth place until his next stop on Lap 45 and returned to the track in 12th place. On Lap 50, race stewards gave him a penalty for blocking Hunter-Reay as he returned to the track from his stop and he had to give up one position to run 11th.  On a restart from caution on Lap 57, he battled with Hunter-Reay again and dropped two spots to 13th.  When Hunter-Reay and Sato fought, he was able to regain two spots to run 11th and got by Hunter-Reay for 10th on Lap 68, which he held until the checkered flag… After a strong result of sixth place in the Indy 500, Ferrucci joined the team for the doubleheader in Detroit. He competed with Dale Coyne Racing here in 2018 and 2019 with a best start of 13th place in Race 2 in 2018 and best finish of 10th in Race 2 in 2019.

NEXT UP:  The REV Group Grand Prix of Road America take place next weekend, June 18-20 and will be broadcast on NBCSN from 12-3 p.m. ET.

Dual 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix

#15: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda, Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingChevrolet Detroit Grand Prix – Dual 1
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – June 12, 2021

SATO, RAHAL AND FERRUCCI FINISH FOURTH, FIFTH AND SIXTH IN DUAL 1 OF THE CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX; THE RACE WAS RED FLAGGED TWO TIMES

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The Fifth Third Bank car was very competitive today. I’m glad we were able to fight our way through and then on that last restart make up a couple of spots. The boys did an excellent job. I’m quite sweaty and am going to sleep well tonight but the gents in the pits did an excellent job. Tonight we have a wardrobe change and go to the United Rentals car tomorrow. But today the Fifth Third Bank guys did an excellent job and, points wise, made up some on some guys, lost some to others, but that’s racing. Our pace was good, it was good to leap frog Rossi, stay ahead of Herta and some of the guys and in the end put ourselves in contention on that last restart. But the rears were just gone on the reds, we tried to make them last 18 laps and it was just a little bit too much to ask. On to tomorrow, here we go.” 

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal qualified 20th for the race and started on primary tires while a large portion of the field started on the faster, but less durable alternate tires. By Lap 9 he was in 10th place as some frontrunners pit early to get rid of their alternate tires. He made it up to fifth when the first caution, and subsequent red flag stoppage at 2:46 p.m. ET – came out for Rosenqvist, who made contact in Turn 6.  The race restarted at 4:04 and Rahal made his first stop under caution on Lap 28.  He returned to the track in 12th, ran 13th for a few laps then into 10th on Lap 34/70. As the other portion of the field began making their next stops, he cycled into the lead on Lap 50 and led four laps before he pit on Lap 53. He returned to the track in eighth place and held the position until Lap 54 when Grosjean brought out a caution and subsequent red flag.  When the cars rolled out of the pits after a 7 minute and 29 second stoppage, he was seventh after previous race leader Wil Power’s car wouldn’t start. On the restart, he passed Pagenaud and Jones to clain fifth place on Lap 68 and held it until the checkered flag in his 16th race here… In 2019, he earned two seventh place finishes. Rahal’s most successful race weekend came in Detroit in 2017 where he won Dual 1 from pole and won Dual 2 from a third place start. His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015.  Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 15 races 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 maintained his eighth place rank in series point standings with a total of 179 points after seven of 16 races.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Little bit crazy of race as usual in Detroit, which I think is really exciting. For us it was a bit of a shame after we made a really good start. I felt the team was fantastic just overtaking cars and obviously the tires had more degradation than the blacks but I was able to get in front of Dixon and get up to P2 just behind Will so I was very happy with that. And then after that, on the first pit stop we had an issue on the mechanical side which was a shame we have to look into that, we lost 4-5 seconds which allowed a couple cars to pass so I had to overtake again. Then the red flag came and it was very unfortunate for Will Power. It was his race today. I had a really great opportunity for the restart but I didn’t have great traction coming out of the last corner and it allowed Veekay to get inside in Turn 1 and I got into marbles and then that was it. But for where we started to finish fourth, fifth, sixth as a team definitely looked good with great speed in the race which is exactly what we needed for today to gather great data for tomorrow’s qualifying and race too.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato earned the top starting position for the team of 16th place and moved up to 12th after passing eventual winner and second place finisher Veekay on the opening laps. While most drivers who started on the alternate compound tires pit to shed them as quick as possible, Sato was able to keep them under him and moved up to second place by Lap 8.  He dropped back to third behind Dixon, who was on primary tires and passed him. He lost a little ground on his first stop on Lap 18 when a mechanical issue slowed the outside rear tire change. He dropped as low as 17th but was back in 12th when the first red flag came out for Rosenqvist on Lap 28, who made contact and the track safety barriers needed repair.  After a stoppage of 1 hour, 18 minutes. Once those who needed to make pit stops did so, Sato cycled into third place for the restart. The stewards ruled Sato had blocked on the restart and he had to give up one position and dropped to fourth o Lap 35. He made his second stop on Lap 46 and returned to the track in ninth place. He passed O’Ward for seventh on Lap 52 and gained positions as others stopped and climbed up to fourth by Lap 54. After he passed Veekay for third, a caution, then red flag, came out for Grosjean, who made contact in Turn 9. The cars again retuned to the pits for 7 minutes and 29 seconds. When the cars restarted and left the pits, race leader Powers car wouldn’t start and Sato moved up to second place. The green flag came out on Lap 67 and Veekay and O’Ward got by Sato, who ultimately finish fourth in his 16th race here…  In his previous 15 races, his best start is two poles (2014 with A.J. Foyt Racing, 2017 with Andretti Autosport), best finish is second in 2015 with AFR and third in 2019 with RLL and he has led a total of 44 laps in three races.  He started in the top-five in four of 15 races and earned four, top-five and six, top-10 finishes. In 2019, he started ninth and finished third in Race 1. In Race 2, he started 16th and finished 13th… Has SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 500 ) and 10 poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2).  He moved up to 10th from 11th in series standings with 163 points.

SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “A P6 finish from the back. At one point we were supposed to be in the top three for sure but the first yellow caught us out. Thankfully Felix is okay. I’m happy to rebound from the back again.  It’s great for the team finishing fourth, fifth and sixth so a great day for RLL.”

  • FAST FACTS: Ferrucci started 21st and passed Rahal and Chilton on the opening lap while on alternate tires. He climbed up to third y Lap 21 as multiple pit strategies played out. He was third when the race was red flagged for 1 hour, 18 minutes. He pit under caution when the race resumed and returned to the track in 15th.  He cycled back into second place, behind Rahal, e pit o Lap 53 then returned to the track in 10th place. He was in 9th place when Grosjean brought out a caution and the series decided to red flag the event for the second time. After 7 minutes, 29 seconds the cars were restarted with the exception of race leader Will Power. He ran eight and followed Rahal to pass Pagenaud and Jones and took the checkered flag sixth… After a strong result of sixth place in the Indy 500, Ferrucci joined the team for the doubleheader in Detroit. He competed with Dale Coyne Racing here in 2018 and 2019 with a best start of 13th place in Race 2 in 2018 and best finish of 10th in Race 2 in 2019. 

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT: The 2021 event will mark the 21st year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the team’s 28th and 29th races here.  The team’s highest start of pole came in 2017 with Graham Rahal earning his first pole since 2009 in Race 1Bobby and Graham Rahal have earned a combined total of three wins for the team here. Bobby won the inaugural race in 1992 and Graham is the only driver to have won both races on the same weekend, which he did in 2017. In total, the team has earned eight podiums (2nd – G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000), (3rd – G. Rahal 2015, Takuma Sato 2019) nine top-five finishes and 19 top-10’s here (chart available).

NEXT UP:  Qualifying for Dual 2 will take place tomorrow from 9-9:45 a.m. ET and the 70 lap Dual 2 will take the Green Flag at 12:50 PM.  Qualifying for Race 2 is live on NBCSN and Peacock. The Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit Dual 2 will be televised live at 12 PM ET, Sunday, June 13.

Sato, Rahal and Ferrucci Gained Baseline Knowledge for Saturday’s Qualifying & Dual 1 of the Chevrolet Grand Prix

Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingChevrolet Detroit Grand Prix
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – June 11, 2021

SATO, RAHAL AND FERRUCCI GAINED BASELINE KNOWLEDGE FOR SATURDAY’S QUALIFYING AND DUAL 1 OF THE CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX

1)         Will Power                  1:17.2768 / 109.477 mph      
12)       Takuma Sato             1:18.5177 / 107.746 mph
16)       Graham Rahal           1:18.8195 / 107.334 mph
22)       Santino Ferrucci       1:19.3407 / 106.629 mph      

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The car is just not great. We’re struggling a little bit with the Fifth Third Bank car to get the balance right, and you can see a lot of guys are. We’re 16th, but other than the first few we’re not that far off the rest so it’s one of those things that it looks like a second is a long time but actually around here that’s a few corners that you can make that up. If you look at my delta to Will (Power), it’s literally like three corners where we’re really bad. We’ve got to make these cars a lot better. Takuma looked like he was struggling, me, and Santino; we’ve got to improve and we are going to keep trying our best tonight and come up with some different concepts, go back out there tomorrow and give it our best shot in qualifying and then the race. I think people are going to be very, very tired this weekend. This is going to wear on everybody including the crew guys. The conditions are hot here, it’s really humid, and it’s just sweaty. It’s going to be a tough one.”

  • FAST FACTS: The event will mark Rahal’s 16th and 17th races here. In 2019, he earned two seventh place finishes. Rahal’s most successful race weekend came in Detroit in 2017 where he won Dual 1 from pole and won Dual 2 from a third place start. His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015.  Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 15 races 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 ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 148 points after six of 16 races.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s nice to be back in Detroit. It’s a very hot day, it was quite fun and very physical as well. It was a 75-minute session but it was interrupted by red flags so it was cut really short. I think we felt pretty positive initially with the car but then later on we didn’t get the proper chance to go to the red tires at the right time because of the traffic and etc., etc.  So there is a little bit of a worry about it but we need to gather the data from the three cars because we were not very happy with the balance but hopefully we can improve for tomorrow.”

  • FAST FACTS: The 2021 races will be Takuma’s 16th and 17th here.  In 15 races, his best start is two poles (2014 with A.J. Foyt Racing, 2017 with Andretti Autosport), best finish is second in 2015 with AFR and third in 2019 with RLL and he has led a total of 44 laps in three races.  He started in the top-five in four of 15 races and earned four, top-five and six, top-10 finishes. In 2019, he started ninth and finished third in Race 1. In Race 2, he started 16th and finished 13th… Has SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 500 ) and 10 poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2).  He is 11th in series standings with 131 points.

SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Practice 1, the only practice, is done. It is very hard to get that lap out there; Detroit is obviously a tight track, and very short. It is way bumpier than I remember but definitely working on the Hy-Vee 45 here with Chester the Cheetah making us quicker, and we will be good for tomorrow’s qualifying and have some fun.”

  • FAST FACTS: After a strong result of sixth place in the Indy 500, Ferrucci joins the team for the doubleheader in Detroit. He competed with Dale Coyne Racing here in 2018 and 2019 with a best start of 13th place in Race 2 in 2018 and best finish of 10th in Race 2 in 2019.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT: The 2021 event will mark the 21st year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the team’s 28th and 29th races here.  The team’s highest start of pole came in 2017 with Graham Rahal earning his first pole since 2009 in Race 1Bobby and Graham Rahal have earned a combined total of three wins for the team here. Bobby won the inaugural race in 1992 and Graham is the only driver to have won both races on the same weekend, which he did in 2017. In total, the team has earned eight podiums (2nd – G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000), (3rd – G. Rahal 2015, Takuma Sato 2019) nine top-five finishes and 19 top-10’s here (chart available).

NEXT UP:  Qualifying for Dual 1 will take place tomorrow from 11-11:45 a.m. ET and the 70 lap Dual 1 will take the Green Flag at 2:05 PM.  Qualifying for Race 1 is live on NBCSN and Peacock. Qualifying for Race 2 is live on NBCSN and Peacock from 9-9:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 13 and also live on the AAPIRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis). The Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit Duals will be televised live on NBC beginning at 2:00 PM ET Saturday, June 12 and 12 PM ET, Sunday, June 13.

Rahal, Sato and Ferrucci Head to the Motor City for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Doubleheader

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix – The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
Round 7 and 8 of 17 in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES


DATE:     June 11-13, 2021

PRACTICE BROADCAST:     Live on Peacock on Friday from 5:00 – 6:15 p.m. ET. Also live on the INDYCAR Radio Network (IRN) and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).

QUALIFYING BROADCAST:     Live on NBCSN and Peacock from 11-12 p.m. ET Saturday and 9-10 a.m. ET on Sunday. Also on the IRN and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + live analysis).

RACE BROADCASTS:     Live on NBC Saturday, June 12 beginning at 2 p.m. ET and live on NBC on Sunday, June 13 beginning at 12 p.m. ET. And also on Peacock, IRN, and SiriusXM 205, indycar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

TRACK LAYOUT:     2.35-mile, 13-turn temporary street course
RACE LENGTH:     70 laps / 164.5 miles (each race) 
2019 WINNER(S):     Josef Newgarden (Race 1) and Scott Dixon (Race 2)
2019 POLESITTER(S):     Alexander Rossi (114.018; Race 1) and Josef Newgarden (113.010; Race 2)

RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     Pole at St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit (street) 2017 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008, Fontana (oval; 500 miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas (oval) 2016; Detroit Race 1 (street) 2017, Detroit Race 2 (street) 2017
RAHAL’S BEST DETROIT START / FINISH:     1st in 2017 in Race 1 / 1st in Race 1 and Race 2 in 2017; will be his 16th & 17th races here

SATO’S BEST START / FINISH AT DETROIT:     1st in 2014 & 2017 (both Race 2) with AA & Foyt / 2nd in 2015 (Race 2) with Foyt, 3rd in 2019 with RLL; will be his 16th and 17th races 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, St. Louis (oval; Race 2) 2020 / 6 Wins – Long Beach (2013), Indianapolis 500 (2017), Portland (2018), Barber (2019), St. Louis (2019), Indianapolis 500 (2020)

FERRUCCI’S BEST START / FINISH AT DETROIT:     13th in 2018 (Race 2) / 10th in 2019 (Race 2) – both with DCR; will be his 5th and 6th races here
FERRUCCI’S HIGHEST SERIES START / FINISH:     2nd at Mid-Ohio (Race 2) 2020 / 4th place, four times (most recently the 2020 Indy 500)

RLL’S BEST START / FINISH AT DETROIT:     1st – Graham Rahal (2017, Race 1) / 3 wins: Bobby Rahal (1992 inaugural Belle Isle event), Graham Rahal (2017, Race 1 & Race 2)


NEWS & NOTES:

DETROIT DOMINATION IN 2017 & PODIUM FINISHES FIVE OF THE PAST SEVEN EVENTS AT BELLE ISLE
The 2021 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will mark the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ 11th visit to Detroit, and it’s ninth since 2008. The Motor City hosted Indy car racing from 1989-91 in Downtown Detroit. The race moved to Belle Isle Park from 1992-2001 and 2007-2008 and returned in 2012.  The 2021 event will mark the 21st year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the team’s 28th and 29th races here. 

The team’s highest start of pole came in 2017 with Graham Rahal earning his first pole since 2009 in Race 1Bobby and Graham Rahal have earned a combined total of three wins for the team here. Bobby won the inaugural race in 1992 and Graham is the only driver to have won both races on the same weekend, which he did in 2017. In total, the team has earned eight podiums (2nd – G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000), (3rd – G. Rahal 2015, Takuma Sato 2019) nine top-five finishes and 19 top-10’s here (chart available). Prior to 2021, the team prepared a total of 35 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08) Takuma Sato (2012, 2018-2019), Graham Rahal (2013-2019), James Jakes (2013) and Oriol Servia (2017).  The No. 15 Fifth Third Bank / United Rentals Honda entry for Graham Rahal, the No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Honda for Takuma Sato and the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda will bring that total to 41 in 2021.  Rahal will compete in Fifth Third Bank livery for Race 1 and a United Rentals livery for Race 2.

GRAHAM AIMS TO CREATE MOMENTUM IN NEXT THREE EVENTS BEGINNING WITH DETROIT
The event will mark Graham Rahal’s 16th and 17th races here. Last year, he earned two seventh place finishes. Rahal’s most successful race weekend came in Detroit in 2017. In Dual 1 in 2017, Rahal earned his first pole since Kansas 2009 and led a dominating 55 of 70 laps en route to his fifth series victory and first ever from pole.  He handily held the lead with the exception of pit cycles and built a gap of more than 13 seconds at one point before he ultimately won by a six-second margin over Scott Dixon.  For Dual 2, Rahal set the second fastest time in his qualifying group 2 to Sato to start third.  In the race, he passed Hunter-Reay on Lap 8 and closed the gap to pole sitter and leader Sato but could not pass. Sato pit one lap earlier than Rahal, who took the lead on Lap 23 before he made his first of two stops on Lap 24 and returned to the track behind Newgarden who was on a three-stop strategy. Once Newgarden pit on Lap 29, Rahal took over the lead and steadily built his gap to second place to 16 seconds over Sato before his second and final stop on Lap 47.  He then proceeded to build an 18 second gap over second place before he caught traffic.  That reduced his lead to new second place runner Newgarden to 5.5 seconds before a red flag came out for the car of Pigot, who experienced a smoky end. All race cars were stopped in pit lane for approximately 10 minutes while the track was cleared and an attempt to remove marbles was made.  The race resumed with a two-lap shootout and Rahal utilized his 57 seconds of Push to Pass over Newgarden’s 36 to keep the lead on the restart before he was able to pull a slight gap before the checkered flag to become the first winner of both races in Detroit.  In total, he led 41 of 70 laps.  His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015.  Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 15 races here. He is looking to move on after a disappointing ending at the Indy 500 and create some momentum in the next string of races at tracks he has fared well at — Detroit, Road America and Mid-Ohio – and regain a top-five rank in the standings.
            “I think it’s great to turn the page now, move forward to a race that I’ve loved so much. I’ve had some success there. I love the challenge that Detroit gives you. We’re excited to get a chance to turn the page from Indy, move on, and hopefully have a great weekend. The depth of the field is incredible right now. It’s very hard for somebody to get an advantage. That (2017) weekend, we were first or second in every single practice, every single qualifying, then obviously swept the race. To do that again, I think it’s a big challenge.  It was a big challenge then, but I think if you look top to bottom at the quality of the field now, there’s not really many guys that are going to go miss. What I got very fortunate with in 2017 was we started up front in both of those races. There was nothing abnormal. There was the red flag with two to go in the one race. The races were pretty green. I think it’s harder to do today.
           “I do think it’s going to be an exceptionally physical weekend. It looks hot, upper 80s and sunny. Detroit does not have any long straightaways really. I do think it’s going to be a pretty physical weekend. I think we’ll just go at it and try to make sure that you get rested up on Saturday night if you have a full day on Saturday because Sunday is going to be another bruiser.”

TAKUMA AIMS TO ADD ANOTHER PODIUM APPEARANCE IN DETROIT LIKE 2019
The 2021 races will be Takuma’s 16th and 17th here.  In 15 races, his best start is two poles (2014 with A.J. Foyt Racing, 2017 with Andretti Autosport), best finish is second in 2015 with AFR and third in 2019 with RLL and he has led a total of 44 laps in three races.  He started in the top-five in four of 15 races and earned four, top-five and six, top-10 finishes. In 2019, he started ninth and finished third in Race 1. In Race 2, he started 16th and finished 13th. After a competitive race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Sato is optimistic about a strong weekend in Detroit.
            “I’m very excited to be back to Detroit because it’s a fantastic race usually, with lots of history for the INDYCAR SERES, and usually back-to-back after the Indy 500 so it’s quite contrasting because it’s one of the bumpiest tracks in the series as a street course. Last year unfortunately we weren’t able to race there due to the pandemic, but 2019 we had very strong results, I got on the podium for the first race and the second race was also very close to the podium, but we unfortunately had a puncture. The specification of tires, and of course the cars now have aero screens and the conditions will be very different so I can’t say we can repeat easily that performance but usually the team has a very strong performance at Detroit. Looking at this year’s St. Pete race which was also a street course and was quite a competitive race for us. I believe we will be strong. The team has done lots of preparation and I can’t wait to be back at the Detroit double header. It will be very, very exciting.”

THE RETURN OF SANTINO FERRUCCI FOR THE DETROIT DOUBLEHEADER
After a strong result of sixth place in the Indy 500, Ferrucci joins the team for the doubleheader in Detroit and will pilot the No. 45 Hy-Vee entry. He competed with Dale Coyne Racing here in 2018 and 2019 with a best start of 13th place in Race 2 in 2018 and best finish of 10th in Race 2 in 2019. He’s looking forward to returning to the streets of Belle Isle with the team.
           “It’s incredible that Detroit is back on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES calendar. I think it’s a fantastic venue and I love racing on the streets of Belle Isle. It also means that the world is definitely going back to normal and it’s incredible to carry momentum of fans from the Indy 500 onto Detroit. My last couple of races in Detroit have been really good. We just never have been very lucky but always quick. I’m hoping that we can capitalize this weekend in the Hy-Vee, Frito-Lay Honda.
With Detroit being an incredibly difficult track and now with limited practice, it’s hard to set expectations for this weekend but the minimum I would say is two top 10’s assuming we have a smooth three-day event. This race is hard physically and mentally since it’s two full race distances, but in 2020 we did quite a few doubleheaders so I feel really prepared.
            “Since we haven’t seen the track in almost two years, the team will be preparing based on their previous street course events and how they feel the direction of the car needs to improve. Working with them and doing debriefs, we already have a good baseline of where we’re starting. The track walk on Thursday will be crucial to see what changes they’ve made as street courses never go together the same way year after year.”

THE POINT STANDINGS
Graham Rahal is ranked eighth after Round 6 of 17 with a total of 148 points and is -43 behind fifth place Rinus Veekay. Takuma Sato is ranked 11th with 131 points. Leader Alex Palou has 248 points.

RLL to Enter to No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda in the Detroit Doubleheader INDYCAR SERIES Races for Santino Ferrucci

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 7, 2021) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that team partner, Hy-Vee, Inc. – an employee-owned supermarket chain that operates more than 280 retail stores across eight Midwestern states – will expand its program to include primary sponsorship of a third entry for the team in the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit doubleheader races on June 12-13 for Santino Ferrucci.
 
Hy-Vee sponsored RLL entries in the past two Indianapolis 500 races, with Ferrucci piloting the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda on May 30 to his third straight top-seven finish in the event with a sixth-place result. In April, the team announced that Hy-Vee would be the primary sponsor of Graham Rahal’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES entry at Road America (June 20) and World Wide Technology Raceway (August 21) as well as the primary sponsor of Ferrucci’s entry for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 and be a full-season associate sponsor on Rahal’s car.
 
“I’m excited to compete in the two races in Detroit after a fantastic run at the Indy 500,” said Santino Ferrucci, who has competed in four races on Belle Isle in Detroit in 2018-2019 with a best finish of tenth place in Race 2 in 2019. “To carry the momentum into Detroit is massive for the team. Hy-Vee is partnering with Frito-Lay so we will have Chester Cheetah and the Cheetos brand on the car, which I think is pretty awesome. It’s a fantastic track, and I’m excited to be returning to Detroit since we didn’t get a chance to race there in 2020.
 
“The excitement and energy that the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team brings forth to our partnership is like none other,” said Randy Edeker, Chairman, CEO and President of Hy-Vee. “The team truly cares about its fans just like we care about our customers at Hy-Vee. Since signing on as a sponsor last year, we’ve heard from people all over the country about our involvement in racing and look forward to what the rest of the season has to offer.”
 
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.
 
After two full INDYCAR SERIES seasons in 2019-2020 and a partial one in 2018, Ferrucci joined RLL for the Indy 500, where he finished sixth. To date, his best Indy car start is second place at Mid-Ohio (Race 2) in 2020 – he has finished in fourth place four times. In 2021, Ferrucci competes part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving for Sam Hunt Racing.
 
The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season continues with the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit doubleheader which will be broadcast live on NBC on June 12 at 2 p.m. EDT and on June 13 at 12 p.m. EDT.  All future on-track action can be seen on NBC, NBCSN or NBC’s Peacock Premium streaming service. For more information about the series or team, visit www.indycar.com and www.rahal.com.
 
About Hy-Vee, Inc.
Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 280 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 85,000 employees provide “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle” to customers every day. For additional information, visit www.hy-vee.com.
 
About Santino Ferrucci
Ferrucci began his karting career at age five and was a multi-time champion by age 11 and was featured in an article in GQ magazine on being a karting prodigy. He also competed in six Formula 2000 races, never finishing worse than fourth in any race. In 2013 he competed in the Skip Barber Racing Series, winning his debut race at Homestead and collecting five wins, two poles and three fastest laps. His career took him to England in 2014 where he competed in British Formula 3, winning two races – both at Brands Hatch, which made him the youngest winner in British Formula 3 history at 16 years, 2 months and 30 days. In 2015, he finished third in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand with a win and five podium finishes and also competed in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. In 2016, he competed in the GP3 Series as a rookie with DAMS with a best finish of third place at Spa-Francorchamps and joined Haas F1 as a test driver for a July test at Silverstone and became the first American driver to test an American F1 car since 1977. He also made his sports car debut that year, winning his first race in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America event at Circuit of The Americas. In 2017, he continued his role as a development driver with Haas F1, testing at Hungaroring in August. He also made six GP3 starts with DAMS before moving to FIA Formula 2 with Trident. In 2018, he competed in FIA Formula 2 with Team Trident, scoring a best finish of sixth at Baku and served as a Haas F1 development driver for a third consecutive season. He also made his debut in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for Dale Coyne Racing in 2018 with a best finish of 11th at the season-finale at Sonoma and competed in a total of four events (Detroit doubleheader, Portland). In 2019, he competed in the full INDYCAR SERIES season and finished 13th in series standings for Dale Coyne Racing with a best finish of fourth at Texas, Pocono and World Wide Technology Raceway. He was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after an impressive performance en route to a seventh-place finish. Ferrucci returned for his second full season in the series in 2020 with Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan with a best finish of fourth place in the Indy 500 and 13th place, season-ending rank. Always open to new challenges, Ferrucci currently competes part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving for Sam Hunt Racing. 

Rahal, Sato and Ferrucci Each Lead the Indy 500 But Faced Separate Challenges; Ferrucci Finished Sixth, Sato 14th and Rahal 32nd

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

105th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – May 30, 2021     

RAHAL, SATO AND FERRUCCI EACH LED THE INDY 500 BUT FACED SEPARATE CHALLENGES; FERRUCCI FINISHED 6TH, SATO 14TH AND RAHAL 32ND

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The Indy 500 ends in disappointment. A little more so today because I really think we had them today, I really do. We were good on one more stop and everybody else needed two. I can’t tell you how bad this one stings, but we win as a team, we lose as a team. From a strategy standpoint we saved the fuel, we were kicking their butts on the fuel save, we were looking really good at the end to maybe even do just one more stop. I know there’s a long way to go but the fuel numbers we were getting; we actually short pitted the last time and could have gone a little bit further but these day. These (to do this well in the Indy 500) don’t come around very often. Definitely, today I thought we had ’em. I’m glad I’m okay.  The boys did an excellent job all month – I’m not disappointed in them. I know there is a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Everyone’s trying hard but I think this one’s going to sting. It’s great (to have fans at the race), the fans make this whole event and without them last year it was a real bummer. To have them this year is just amazing. I really wanted to see that United Rentals car in Victory Lane, but we came up just short – that’s the way it goes sometimes.” 

FAST FACTS: Rahal appeared to be one of the most legitimate contenders to win what was the fastest Indy 500 in history, but a pit error negated his excellent fuel savings and race strategy and his day ended when he lost his left rear tire after he pit from the lead and made contact on Lap 119/200.  He led two different times for a total of eight laps and was poised to be a contender for the win in the last stint. He started 18th and during the first stint, Rahal set out to conserve fuel and was able to stretch it through a caution that came when some leaders were needing to pit when the first of only two caution periods came out for Wilson and closed the pits. The cars of Dixon and Rossi were fuel-starved and would not restart immediately once they took on fuel. Rahal went into extreme fuel savings mode and made his stop when the pits opened on Lap 38 while ninth. He returned to the track in 10th place and briefly moved up after passing McLaughlin on the restart on Lap 46. He held 10th and continued to stretch his fuel and as others made their stops, he cycled into the lead on Lap 79 for three laps before his second stop on Lap 81. He returned to the track in eighth place. His fuel-savings continued to enable him to gain valuable track position and after a six-lap position swap with his teammate Sato, he regained eighth then moved up over the next 11 laps as others made their stops. He reclaimed the lead on Lap 114 and held it for five laps before he made his next stop on Lap 128/200. The inside rear tire was not completely installed when he left the pits and once he was getting up to speed and back on track, the wheel came off and he spun and made contact with the Turn 2 wall. He was checked and released from the infield care center. The way the race was playing out, he was on target to be able to go three laps longer than the drivers that were determined to be the contenders at that point… It was his 14th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and RLL in 2020. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and 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… Due to the double points awarded for this race, he dropped from a pre-race rank of fifth place to 11th with 148 points, 100 points back from leader Palou, with 248.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “First of all, huge congratulations to Helio Castroneves. That’s a living legend, winning four times. It’s incredible. It was great to share the spectacular time with him, and with the fans too. Today, the atmosphere is just incredible. Same as what it used to be. The race was bitter and sour for us. Its was really a tough decision to go through the final stint to save the fuel. We had to rely on a miracle for a yellow, which didn’t happen. Before that we were P6-P7, actually just behind Helio. The team tried really hard to pull off the win but today wasn’t the day so it’s a huge disappointment of course but we need to learn and move on.”

FAST FACTS: Sato started 15th and gained two spots at the start. He later settled into 14th place and stretched his fuel. Right before he was preparing to pit in the next few laps he had to go into extreme fuel-save mode to stretch it through a caution that came out for Wilson and closed the pits. The cars of Dixon and Rossi were fuel-starved and would not restart immediately once they took on fuel but fortunately for Sato, that was not ultimately a problem. He made his first stop from ninth place on Lap 38 and came out eighth. On the restart, he passed Hunter-Reay and O’Ward for sixth and the race was starting to look pretty good. He stretched his fuel and pitted on Lap 79 from second place behind teammate Rahal. He was 10th by Lap 82, had a six-lap battle for position with Rahal and cycled into second place for three laps before his third stop on Lap 116. Rahal brought out a caution for six laps when he crashed after a tire came off and this yellow-running was taken into consideration for the fuel strategy. Sato never ran below ninth on the next stint and cycled into the lead for six laps by going further than others before the fourth stop on Lap 157. A very conservative fuel strategy saw Sato drop to 18th at one point on the next stint while trying to save fuel but the team had to abort it and go full-rich and make a stop-and-go after he led Lap 193. He pit on Lap 194/200 and rejoined the race in 14th and took the checkered flag there… Sato is the only active, fulltime, two-time Indy 500 Champion.  The 2021 race was his 12th Indy 500 and fourth 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 SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 500 ) and 10 poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2).  He moved from 12th to 11th in series standings with 131 points.

SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It feels incredible. We had a great race! We were really quick, we just couldn’t get lucky on the starts and restarts. Strategy played a big part in this race, and we were able to save enough fuel to run as hard as we could at the end there. We were slowly reeling in the lead group, just needed a few more laps.”

FAST FACTS: Ferrucci added another top finish at the Indy 500 with sixth place after he recovered from a penalty on his first stop when he had to enter a “closed pit for emergency service” (fuel) that dropped him as low as 26th place.  The caution for Wilson, who crashed in the pits, came out during a pit cycle that also impacted many others including polesitter Dixon and frontrunner Rossi.  At the start of the race, Ferrucci moved from 23rd into 20th. He stretched his fuel and was in 13th when the caution came out for Wilson. The caution came out on Lap 34 and the pits weren’t opened until Lap 38 but Ferrucci, and many others, had to stop to take on a splash of fuel on Lap 36. When the pits opened, he came in again to complete the stop on Lap 38 but before the field went green, he had to drop to the back of the field in 26th due to entering a closed pit. Skillful driving, track position and good strategy worked in his favor and Ferrucci took the checkered flag in sixth place… He has competed in three Indy 500’s with his best finish of fourth in the 2020 Indy 500 and his seventh-place finish in the 2019 Indy 500 earned him Rookie of the Year. 

NOTES: This was the fastest Indy 500 in history and also the largest sporting event worldwide since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with 135,000 fans.

NEXT UP: The series will take next weekend off before returning to action on the streets of Detroit for a doubleheader on June 12-13 double-header Detroit Grand Prix race weekend, with races both Saturday and Sunday on the Belle Isle street circuit in Detroit, Michigan.

  • Comments Off on Rahal, Sato and Ferrucci Each Lead the Indy 500 But Faced Separate Challenges; Ferrucci Finished Sixth, Sato 14th and Rahal 32nd
  • Email to friend
  • Blog it
  • Stay updated

Indy 500 Carb Day is in the Books and the Team is Ready To Defend Their 2020 Indianapolis 500 Victory

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

105th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
CARB DAY NOTES/QUOTES – May 28, 2021                                      

INDY 500 CARB DAY IS IN THE BOOKS AND THE TEAM IS READY TO DEFEND THEIR 2020 INDIANAPOLIS 500 VICTORY

1)         Scott Dixon                  228.323 mph   
9)         Takuma Sato               225.701 mph   
19)       Graham Rahal             224.872 mph     
27)       Santino Ferrucci          223.884 mph   

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Carb day has come to an end for us and it was pretty good for the United Rentals car; I thought it was exceptionally fast. We had pretty high downforce early on and were able to work our way through the field quite quickly. Once we got to the front with Dixon and those guys we needed to figure out the trim level that we could go to so the very last run we did that, and yeah, the car understeered a little bit more, we struggled a little bit more, but we know how to fix it – it’s simply a COP thing. I feel good, I do, I feel good, I feel really good. I see a lot of guys up at the top of the charts that I was around that their cars didn’t look quite as good in traffic as us so I’m excited by the prospects. I think there’s a good chance that we’re able to get to the front and be able to go race at the end of this thing.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will start from 18th place for his 14th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and RLL in 2020. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and 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 fifth in series standings with 137 points, only 39 out of first place.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Carb day was very cold! I think it’s just below 60 degrees so it’s very cold, but the weather prediction on race day is 70ish so still cooler than a normal 500 but it was good to get the data under the very cold conditions with wind and steering.  The track and downforce demand is a bit different. It was a tough run, but I think we checked quite a few things between the 15 and 45 car so I think we collected quite good data.  Now we need to gather everything and pick the best of the best Sunday.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato is the only active two-time Indy 500 Champion.  He will start his 12th Indy 500 from 15th place. 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 SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 500 ) and 10 poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2).  He is 12th in series standings with 98 points.

SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Today was an interesting day for us. Our Hy-Vee 45 definitely picked up some speed. We got in the pack and definitely learned a lot on our car. We made a ton of changes and I’m feeling really good for Sunday. And then we got to lead a couple of laps in the train and nobody could really pass us so I think that shows well for our Honda-powered Hy-Vee car.  I can’t wait to get back out there.”

  • FAST FACTS: He will start his third Indy 500 from 23rd place. He has competed in two Indy 500’s with his best finish of fourth in the 2020 Indy 500 and his seventh-place finish in the 2019 Indy 500 earned him Rookie of the Year. 

NEXT UP: The 105th Indy 500 will take place on Sunday, May 30 and will be televised live from 11-4 p.m. ET on NBC. Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 105th Indianapolis 500 via the Digital Ally Garage Camera on www.rahal.com.

Sato, Rahal and Ferrucci Gain Knowledge in the Final Practice Before Indy 500 Carb Day Next Friday

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing105th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – May 23, 2021                                      

SATO, RAHAL AND FERRUCCI GAIN KNOWLEDGE IN THE FINAL PRACTICE BEFORE INDY 500 CARB DAY NEXT FRIDAY

1)         Alex Palou                   225.649 mph   
6)         Takuma Sato                224.430 mph   
7)         Graham Rahal             224.376 mph     
17)       Santino Ferrucci          223.055 mph   

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was not a bad day; I thought we got the United Rentals car a lot better. I think we’re extremely racy. It’s just tough out there when you get buried in the back. It’s going to be a challenge. You’re going to have to drive this race extremely smart. There are a lot of good cars, and a lot of bad cars. I thought everybody we ran around today all looked pretty solid. There are a lot of evenly-matched guys; we’re going to have to race smart and hopefully get ourselves there in the end. Tire conditions today too were something to consider. We were not all on the same tires. Some new, some used, some guys coming out on new tires toward the end of a stint so that’s a little hard to manage and balance but at the end I do feel good. We’re cautiously optimistic at this point.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his 14th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and RLL in 2020. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and 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 fifth in series standings with 137 points, only 39 out of first place.

TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We made a lot of group runs in the final practice before Carb Day, which is good but I think it was the hottest day of any practice session so we had to put in more downforce. We checked quite a few items and I think it was productive. I need to see the data again and then we will put everything together that was positive to check on Carb Day. At least it was a good, productive day again.”

  • FAST FACTS: Sato is the only active two-time Indy 500 Champion.  The 2021 race will be his 12th Indy 500 and fourth 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 SIX INDYCAR SERIES wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 – Portland road, 2019 – Barber road, Gateway oval; 2020 Indy 500 ) and 10 poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval; 2019 Barber road, Texas oval; 2020 St. Louis – Race 2).  He is 12th in series standings with 98 points.

SANTINO FERRUCCI, No. 45 Hy-Vee Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a fun day for the Hy-Vee Honda team. There is a lot of work to be done on the setup for race trim and we’re getting closer. We went back to the pad to make another adjustment. It’s all about taking baby steps.  It’s really hard to pass, especially in the train and we just want to be there and be close enough in the tow that if someone makes a mistake, we can definitely capitalize and have a good car at the start of the race. We have a little bit more engineering to do for Friday’s Carb Day and we’ll be good to go on Sunday.”

  • FAST FACTS: He has competed in two Indy 500’s with his best finish of fourth in the 2020 Indy 500 and his seventh-place finish in the 2019 Indy 500 earned him Rookie of the Year. 

NEXT UP: Carb Day practice for the 105th Indy 500 will take place Friday, May 28 from 11-1 p.m. ET. Get a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 105th Indianapolis 500 via the Digital Ally Garage Camera on www.rahal.com.

Page 4 of 48:« First« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »Last »