Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway
NTT IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – August 24, 2019
SATO DROVE TO HIS FIFTH SERIES VICTORY AFTER BEING A LAP DOWN IN THE BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500; RAHAL RETIRED AFTER AN EXHAUST SECONDARY FAILURE
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m disappointed. Actually the car wasn’t that bad. We just had a couple of set of tires that vibrated unbelievably bad. It’s frustrating. As a team, we need to get a little bit of luck on our side. The guys are working incredibly hard but we’re not seeing the fruits of our labor and it’s disappointing. I feel bad for them. Congrats to Takuma and the No. 30 guys on their win.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I just can’t find the words to thank everyone for all the support. It was special, particularly after the difficult circumstances. To come here, have a strong qualifying, which I was really proud of the team. It was a difficult start. I was sandwiched, then went backwards. It was difficult to get away the first stint. We kept our heads down, did our job, believed in ourselves, take the moment for the chance to come back. We came back. We had a lot of good pace over the next two stints and stretched the fuel to what we needed. Yeah, the yellow came in. Of course, some luck maybe happened. I think this is the whole effort of the team completely behind me, the support. I’m so happy to bring the car to the win for them. I’m very, very happy. On the last restart, perhaps it was really slow but consistent speed obviously. I had to take all the advantage just to control the pack. After that we just drove away beautifully, I would say. Excitement for the race, tire degradation. Tony and I had similar difficulty for the last 20 laps where Ed seems to be hooking up very, very good speed. It was tough for the last five laps. I just wanted to bring the car home, which we did. (On whether this win was the most gratifying of his career other than the Indy 500:) Yes. I’m sure. To win from pole at Barber was very significant. Just the domination of the weekend is always great credit for the team, and satisfaction. But this win is so special, like you said, beside Indy 500, obviously nothing like it. This is just so emotional. Gave me unbelievable boost. The next two races are going to be exciting. For sure the championship going to be very exciting. Hopefully I can climb a few positions up towards the end of the season. It is just unbelievable support from the team. I’m so happy. So proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.”
FIRST WIN FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT WWT RACEWAY… The 2019 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 marked the third open wheel race at the track since 2003 and was the eighth event for the team here. The 1.25-mile oval hosted CART-sanctioned races from 1997-2000 and IRL races from 2001-2003 before the IndyCar Series returned in 2017. The team competed in all four CART races from 1997-2000 and one of the three IRL races (2003). The best starting position for the team of second place came in 2003 by Kenny Brack and the previous best finish of fifth place was in 1999 by Max Papis. Prior to 2019, the team prepared a total of 12 Indy car entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1997-1998), Bryan Herta (1997-1999), Max Papis (1999-2000), Kenny Brack (2000, 2003), Graham Rahal (2017-2018) and Takuma Sato (2018).
NEXT UP: Takuma Sato returns to Portland Raceway as the defending winner AND most recent winner in the NTT IndyCar Series after he earned his first road course win there last season. The Portland Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, September 1.