Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals Honda said that he felt his car was very good during the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Rahal who had started Sunday’s race from 30th place on the grid but his difficult month behind him to come through the field and finish the event with a top ten finish in 10th place and in doing is in sixth place in the championship on 183 points.
Speaking following the race, Rahal said:
“I thought our United Rentals car was very good, it just became a track position race and the yellows were way too long. The strategy that we played when we got to the lead on Lap 100 — had the yellows not taken so long every single time — we would have been one pit stop less than the rest. We were good to make it on one more stop and everybody else wasn’t. There were three or four of us in that situation. Me, Newgarden, I think Wickens maybe and Munoz. We had played it right. It obviously sucks to leave here another year and not get a win particularly when the race car was pretty good. I need to be more aggressive on the restarts. I didn’t really want to try the second lane because there was a lot at stake. I didn’t want to put the thing in the fence but I saw a lot of guys doing it (second lane) so the last restart I did, I made up three or four spots but I’m just disappointed because I want to get out of here with a win someday.”
Oriol Servia had a fantastic race leading laps towards the end of the race and having to pit for a splash of fuel right at the end. Speaking following the race in which he finished in 17th place, the Spaniard said:
I am really proud of the whole effort. When you come as a one-race team, it is really hard to beat the guys that are full season so just doing it for your run for the money like we did is really great. It was great running up front. It showed we had a good speed, great passes, and restarts. We took a risk on the strategy and it almost worked. I am very proud of everyone. Everyone at RLL and Scuderia Corsa were here to win and we showed that we really went for it.”
It was a disappointing end to the race for 2017 Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato as he was forced to retire from the race on lap 46 and speaking following the race he said:
James had a problem with speed and there was too much closing speed between us and I couldn’t avoid him. Once I realized, I backed off and even hit the brakes but just once you get into an air pocket like that, you just get sucked in. It’s’ really an unfortunate situation for both of us and I feel really sorry for the team, the fans and supporters. Robert (Wickens) and I were catching the front of the train, the pack we were in. Once he got it, I could see two cars side by side. At the time maybe James was too much in trouble and he had to back off and get in the grey. The speed differential was way too great between us. I tried to avoid it but unfortunately I couldn’t.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will be back in action this weekend in Detroit for the Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix double header presented by Lear.