On Sunday, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard in the No.45 Vivid Clear Rx Honda had a fantastic Sonsio Grand Prix of Road America.
Lundgaard started the race from seventh place, ran as high as fifth during the 55-lap race, and came home in seventh place. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing made some personnel changes since the last race in Detroit and those changes seem to have paid off for the team this weekend following a solid race for both Lundgaard and Graham Rahal.
Speaking following the action, Lundgaard commented saying:
“That was a long race. We lost a bit in the start. I ran into the back of Rossi. I lost the momentum in the start which is why I got kind of swallowed and then I saw a lot of cars hitting each other into Turn 1 so I just tried to stay out of that. We got Rossi a few laps later which was great. I tried to go around the outside of Newgarden into Turn 5 and basically he just hit me and drove me off the track. If we can drive that way, it’s okay but it needs to be equal to all race tracks as well. I’m a little disappointed in seventh. I think we had a car to be around the podium today and at least fight for it at the end. I didn’t get a fuel number early enough in the last stint so I was a little surprised when they gave me a pretty big number and was trying to reach that and made a few mistakes which is something we need to look into and understand because I just started locking fronts (tires) out of nowhere.”
Graham Rahal in the No.15 Fifth Third Bank Honda started 14th, ran as high as 10th and finished 11th in the race. On his first of three stops, fuel sprayed from the top of the fuel rig and extended his stop, which cost him multiple positions. He clawed his way back up the field and finished 11th.
Speaking following the race, Rahal said:
It was disappointing not to get the Fifth Third Bank car into the top 10. I thought we were definitely a top-five or top-six car there. We just didn’t do a good enough job on that last out lap. I was really hanging on, I got wide in the carousel and it cost me a handful of seconds. Ultimately a handful of seconds would’ve put us right in the meat of that next big group ahead. Ultimately, we did a good job today. At the first stop there was a (fuel) vent issue and I don’t know but the redhead had a fault or something which hurt us a little bit. Then, we were able to claw back and the next stop was phenomenal. The next stop the guys gained a ton of spots so we just have to keep our heads down. I felt we closed the gap this weekend and that’s a real positive.”
Jack Harvey in the No.30 Mi-Jack Honda He started 24th, and was 17th when he tried to pass Castroneves on a restart and was pushed off course and damaged his front wing, which necessitated two extra stops. He ultimately finished 26th.
Speaking following the race, Harvey commented saying:
It was like bumper cars out there. I had a good start and then got hit into Peterson when he was having an issue so I couldn’t avoid him and then, all of the positions I gained, then lost from the exit of 6 to Turn 7 so that was pretty annoying. Then on the restart, I had a good jump. Went to go by Helio on the inside and he covered and then I went left and as I went left he pushed me off into the grass and then that was that. I went off again just trying to stay ahead of the leaders and just didn’t have enough grip at that point and went off. I mean, at that point you’re trying everything just to try and make something happen there was nothing left to happen, unfortunately. Which, is a shame because the car was fast. We definitely had top-10 pace so it’s pretty disappointing.”