Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Iowa Corn 300 – Iowa Speedway
Verizon IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, July 8, 2018
SATO EARNED HIS FIRST PODIUM OF THE SEASON WITH THIRD PLACE IN THE IOWA CORN 300 AFTER HE LED THREE LAPS; RAHAL FINISHED SEVENTH
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Luther Automotive Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We started out really weak. The rear of the car was not good at all so that was frustrating. We made some changes before the race and the whole idea was to help the rear but it did the polar opposite which wasn’t good. Halfway through the race the car started coming to us, the track came to us. We took some front wing out and I think on the last stint we were probably one of the quickest cars on track and I know we were catching up to the lead group but we were almost a full lap behind so we were having to come back to them. We passed (pole sitter Josef) Newgarden, (Spencer) Pigot and some others. We were legitimately good in the end but it just took us too long to get there. We went down a lap and could never fully recover.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I had great fun. The Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda was super-fast. The team did a great job. We weren’t that good in the first practice after skipping the test here last week but we came back strong. The strength in engineering is unbelievable. We lost some positions after the last stint but we came back strong. (On contact with Carpenter’s sliding car at the end:) He was obviously sliding and I was already inside him. I didn’t see it much. Suddenly he was coming inside and clipped me at the back of the car. It caught me by surprise and I obviously saved him (from crashing). Had we gone back to green for the last few laps, my car was fine. There was a mark on it but I would have gone for it for another place maybe. My car was really fast today. I want to thank Bobby (Rahal), Mike (Lanigan) and Dave (Letterman). A lot of people struggled today but we had a good car.”
RLL AT IOWA: The Iowa Corn 300 marked the ninth event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Iowa Speedway. Takuma Sato matched the best finish for the team of third by Scott Sharp in 2007 who also earned the top start for the team of fourth the same year. Prior to the 2018 event, the team prepared a total of 10 entries for drivers Scott Sharp (2007), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012) Graham Rahal (2013-2017) and James Jakes (2013). The team has earned two podiums (3rd, Sharp 2007, Sato 2018) and seven, top-10 finishes at the track with Sato’s third place and Rahal’s seventh.
NEXT UP: The Honda Indy Toronto will take place next weekend on the streets around Exhibition Place. IT is the final street race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. NBCSN will begin live coverage of the race at 3 p.m. ET.
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