Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Round 3 of 17 in the NTT IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, April 7, 2019
SATO WON HIS INDYCAR FIRST RACE FROM POLE AND FOURTH OVERALL AT THE HONDA INDY GP OF ALABAMA; RAHAL COMFORTABLY RAN SECOND BEFORE A THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR ISSUE OCCURRED AND THEN LATER RETIRED DUE TO AN ELECTRICAL ISSUE
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 One Cure Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “About Lap 3 the throttle started to stick, and I tried to make it hang on. We did, I don’t know, 15 laps that way. Finally, it was going to put me in a gravel trap or something; for sure I was hanging on way too much. The car just died, completely shut off. We had this (problem) in qualifying, luckily it was on my cool-down lap from the lap where I (qualified second). But these have to be connected. Last night we changed the throttle pedal, we changed the sensors, we checked all the tuning. I don’t know, but it has to be something in the loom. It’s just a shame. One Cure, this whole team, was working really good. Takuma and I were running away there at the start. I thought it was our day, man, I thought it was our weekend. Here and at St. Pete, with the flat tire, man, c’mon. At some point (our luck) has got to change.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s really a big thank you for Bobby (Rahal), Dave (Letterman) and Mike Lanigan to make this (possible) for me. And big thank you to Graham Rahal; we were working so closely together. I mean today, either of us was going to be competitive. It was very unfortunate what happened to him, but this is great for the team. (Slow first stop) I think on the No. 30 car we have new boys and always learning, and (slow stops) happen; it’s racing. You know, I make mistakes too. It’s OK. I think we were back in the lead after that, and the car was superb today. (Late mistake) Maybe I shouldn’t have pushed that hard. It was a very intense battle; it was good.”
RLL AT BARBER: The team 1-2 qualifying result was the first for the team since September 11, 2005 at Chicagoland when Danica Patrick won pole and Buddy Rice started second. The 2019 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama marked the eighth IndyCar Series race for the team at Barber Motorsports Park (BMP) and first victory here. The previous best finishes for the team came in 2015 and 2016 where RLL and Graham Rahal played a major role in the most exciting races of those seasons and earned second place finishes each year. The team’s previous best start was sixth by Rahal in 2016.
NEXT UP: The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach is next weekend, April 12-14.