Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
GMR Grand Prix – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NTT INDYCAR SERIES
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – May 15, 2021
RAHAL CHARGED TO A FIFTH PLACE FINISH IN THE GMR GRAND PRIX AFTER OPENING LAP CONTACT SENT HIM TO 24TH; SATO FINISHED 16TH
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Oh boy was that an exciting one. Obviously, the start I need to look at it. I thought I was giving enough room but obviously came in contact with Conor there. Our boys, we’re going to nickname this race ‘Chicken Salad’ because to take that green flag 20+ seconds behind (the field after two stops) and be able to work our way up with a good car, good pace, good fuel saving, definitely one of the better drives I’ve ever had. I’m proud of these guys to get another top five. When you start that far behind it’s remarkable. It’s a good run for Fifth Third Bank, everybody in this organization, Honda with the fuel mileage, it’s all just excellent stuff. I’m super happy with how this ended up. I’ve got to say I’m shocked but it was definitely a good run for us.
“(On the incident at the start:) I don’t know what happened. Obviously, we had a pretty beat up car for the remainder of the race. The right rear was pretty beat up. But that happened so easily, I’m not really sure how it falls apart like that with so little contact but either way the biggest thing is just to keep the guys heads together and keep mine. Obviously that restart wasn’t ideal – we topped up on fuel and restarted 20 seconds behind. Imagine if we had restarted in the back of the pack and didn’t have to make up the 20 seconds. But at the same time it was good because by the time I caught Montoya he had to pit. By the time I got to some of those guys in the sequence, they were having to pit so I could just keep going so the momentum just kept rolling but it was definitely a good day.”
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Panasonic / Shield Cleansers Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Disappointing race, frustrating shall we say. Nothing wrong, I made a good start and we did what we planned for the pitstops but every time we came out we caught some traffic but I guess everybody is in the same boat but we didn’t make any positions up. Got a few interesting battles and that was great but P16 is just frustrating. Hopefully now with the Indy 500, we it turn around and have a good run.”
RLL AT THE IMS ROAD COURSE…. The GMR Grand Prix marked the 10th NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on the 2.439-mile road course. The team’s best finish here is second in 2015 and July 4, 2020 by Rahal and best start is fourth in 2020, also by Rahal.
NEXT UP: Opening Day for the Indy 500 will take place on Tuesday, May 18.