Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
GMR Grand Prix – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – July 4, 2020
RAHAL CONTENDED FOR THE WIN BUT THE TIMING OF A CAUTION HINDERED HIS STRATEGY AND HE FINISHED SECOND IN THE GMR GRAND PRIX; PIGOT WAS A PODIUM CONTENDER BUT RETIRED WITH MECHANICAL FAILURE; SATO REBOUNDED FROM A SUSPENSION FAILURE TO FINISH 10TH
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I thought the strategy was honestly working perfectly. Honestly, with the two-stop coming out of the pits after the first stop and still being right with Power and Harvey and all the good guys, the guys I was racing at that time, all I kept thinking was when the pits cycled through for the last time, we’d have about a 25- or 30-second lead, but obviously the yellow came out and kind of nullified our strategy because then everybody just got to pit under yellow and then there was just one more to go. But obviously, Dixie had tremendous pace during the late part of the race. I was on black tires struggling a little bit. The Fifth Third Bank car was great today. I thought our guys did a tremendous job. It’s a shame for Spencer; he was right up in the battle, as well. But for our team after Dallas, this feels extremely good for us.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / One Cure Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “First of all, huge congrats to my teammate Graham. He did a hell of a job over the event. I know he wanted to win but second was great. My race was a difficult one. Yesterday we found an issue with the powertrain and lost over two-tenths of a second down the straight which was huge in qualifying which put us in the back. Today I had suspension failure around Lap 1 probably. That’s why I went straight to the back. Then the yellow came at the right time when we needed to pit so I needed a splash of fuel. We had a difficult race but in the end we fought back from 26th place to finish tenth, which was good. With a damaged car, I think it was a great job by the team. Obviously, Graham did a great job so I think the whole team is moving forward and I’m looking forward to next week.”
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 45 Mi-Jack / Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We had a really good race going today; it was a lot of fun. Early on we passed quite a few cars are were up inside the top-10 within not too many laps. We had a really good handling car and we were making moves and elected for a two-stop strategy so we were saving fuel the whole time and still keeping a good pace throughout the race. We just kept going forward and came out of the pits after the last stop in third, right behind Graham, who was on the podium so it was looking like we could have had two Rahal Letterman Lanigan cars on the podium but unfortunately we had an issue. It just wasn’t meant to be today but overall I can’t thank everyone on the 45 car enough and the whole team really. It was a great debut for RLL and Citrone/Buhl Autosport, Shield Cleansers, Mi-Jack, Embrace Pittsburgh. I thank everyone for their support. We’ll try again in August at the Indy 500.”
RLL AT THE IMS ROAD COURSE…. The GMR Grand Prix marked the seventh NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on the 2.439-mile road course. The team matched their best finish here of second place in 2015 – also by Rahal and best start is fourth in 2020, also by Rahal.
NEXT UP: Rounds 3 and 4 of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will take place next weekend at the REV Grand Prix of Road America on July 11-12. Saturday’s race will be broadcast on NBCSN beginning at 5 PM ET and Sunday’s race will be broadcast on NBC and begins at 12 noon ET.