RAHAL - Indy 500 Practice Day One
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT IndyCar Series
OPENING DAY NOTES/QUOTES – May 14, 2019
RAHAL AND SATO CONTINUED TO BUILD UPON RECENT TEST AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ON OPENING DAY OF THE INDY 500; KING PASSED ALL FOUR PHASES OF ROOKIE ORIENTATION AND GOT UP TO SPEED
1) Will Power 229.745 mph
14) Takuma Sato 227.249 mph
20) Graham Rahal 226.498 mph
33) Jordan King 223.973 mph
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a good day. I think we checked off everything that was on our list of things to try today. We wanted to stay pretty strict and only use three sets of tires. We could have used more, done more running, but we wanted to make sure we save up for the rest of the week. I was surprised that a lot of guys ran more than I expected today but we stuck to the plan and I'm pleased with where we are, speed and setup wise."
- FAST FACTS: Will be his 12th Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in seven of his 10 previous races here. Detailed Indy 500 information available upon request. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015... He is currently seventh in series standings with 113 points, only 33 out of third place.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It is good to be back on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The car felt really good today and we made it through quite a few parts of our program in the testing and to get the group runs in was very valuable. There is still a lot of work to be done but it was very productive for the first day."
- FAST FACTS: 2017 Champion of the Indy 500. The 2019 race will be his 10th Indy 500 and second with RLL. In 2012 with RLL, he was alongside eventual winner Franchitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but his race ended due to contact after he was squeezed down on the apron and lost control of his race car. Prior to his 2017 win with Andretti from his best start of fourth place, his highest finish was 13th in 2013 and 2015 – both with A.J. Foyt Racing... Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval). He is fifth in series standings with 132 points.
JORDAN KING, No. 42 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "At rookie orientation, it was a bit strange really. It's one of those things that as a racing driver you want to be flat out and be 100% all the time. You have to bring it back and build up to it. It was a bit of a strange feeling to have to sit at a certain pace and pass the test. But then after a few laps you have built up to it. In the end, I'm happy with how the day has gone especially with a bit of jet lag. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we can start running in the pack and move the car forward"
- FAST FACTS: Will be his first oval race and first Indianapolis 500... Competed in 11 road and street course races with Ed Carpenter Racing with a best start of fourth at St. Pete in his debut and a best finish of 11th at Toronto. He participated in a 2018 pre-season test at the Phoenix International Raceway oval before the season-opener at St. Petersburg but that was his only oval experience.
NEXT UP: Practice will take place from 11-6 p.m. ET tomorrow.
Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.