RAHAL - Thursday May 16 Practice Notes


Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500
NTT IndyCar Series

1)         Ed Jones                     227.843 mph   
2)         Takuma Sato               226.699 mph   
24)       Graham Rahal             224.133 mph
29)       Jordan King                 223.173 mph
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  "I thought today was actually extremely positive.  We did a lot of good things in the morning with some qualifying simulations and I thought our pace was pretty strong.  It's hard to say exactly, but I think time-for-time Takuma and I are very close together and we should be pretty strong.  We tried to get some race running done there at the end but we never really got a good group (of cars) going because everybody was taking some downtime and then the (bad) weather came in, but we should be pretty solid.  We found some good stuff today so we should be pretty good.  Tomorrow is just a matter of turning up the boost and see how she flies’, see if it's good and strong.  We just have to put it all together and see where we stand.  I feel pretty decent, but we just need to test it out tomorrow and see."
  • 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: "I'd say it was a very productive day despite a little issue in the car and the weather.  We've done a qualifying simulation and worked on the race setup.  We found several positives and I'm pretty happy with that.  We are quite satisfied with how today went.  It's a shame we weren't able to see the performance (of the car) in a group run because of the weather, but I feel positive today.  It’s Fast Friday tomorrow so we are going to be seeing another world.  I think we will see five, six, seven mph faster than today so it will be a whole different game.  But at least we found a very fundamental, good setup today which is going to be continued the next three days.  I think that getting four laps with a good balance is extremely important so tomorrow we will be working on that."
  • 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 FOUR IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval, 2018 - Portland road, 2019 - Barber road ) and EIGHT 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; 2019 Barber road).  He is fifth in series standings with 132 points.
JORDAN KING, No. 42 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  "We did some qualifying runs in the morning that were pretty positive.  I had a good balance with the car so no kind of real stress from that side.  We were a little bit down on those guys (Rahal, Sato) but they were trying some different things. Overall I'm pretty happy.  I still think we're quite safe with the car.  I think on the no tow times as a team, we're looking better.  Takuma's up there with a big tow time, but looking at the no tow times, I think we're all quite good.  Obviously at the end there, it was a strange run.  We didn't really get much done this afternoon and then the weather came in, but I think there's a little work from my side to be done and the car side from the race runs in traffic.  We’re still struggling a little bit there."
  • 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 Beeler

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.

Read More on Indy Car press releases
Volume 2019, Issue 5, Posted 2:07 PM, 05.17.2019