Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s expanded partnership with Hy-Vee continues this weekend at Road America as Graham Rahal will drive the No.15 Hy Vee Honda as he looks to go a few steps further, following impress top-five finishes here in recent years. The team go into this weekend’s race looking to build on their solid momentum of top ten fives in last weekend’s doubleheaders in Detroit and looking ahead to the REV Group Grand Prix of Road America, Rahal said:

“Last year we had a really strong run at Road America. In fact, we had a great chance to win it on the Saturday race and had a little bit of an issue with a pit stop, but the boys rebounded well. Unfortunately, on Sunday we didn’t even get a chance to go race. We got taken out in the second corner and, that was kind of our day done, but our team has been excellent this year. I think even when we’ve started in the back and we haven’t quite had the qualifying pace, our boys have done a great job with strategy. The car has been fast in the race, we’ve been able to go forward and we expect the same thing in the Hy-Vee car this weekend, and we’re looking forward to it.”

Takuma Sato is hoping to continue the strong run of competitiveness at Road America again this season saying:

“Last year and the year before, we were relatively very competitive. And after Barber this year for the road course and two street courses — St Petersburg and Detroit — both felt very competitive. The construction of tires and philosophy is different from street course to road course, but I think we have a good package. This year after last year’s study I think we have an even more competitive package. After Detroit it’s going to be back-to-back, so it’s going to be quite busy for the boys to prepare the car but we are all looking forward to going back to Elkhart Lake with very enthusiastic fans. We are very, very excited so we are looking forward to the weekend.”

Speaking about his season to date as we reach the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series championship, Graham Rahal says:

“When I look at this season, we’ve had tons of top five’s and a seventh (place) at Barber. Unfortunately, we have a big miss at St. Pete where we were, again, running in the top five and the Indy 500 where we were running right at the front. Those two races have really hurt us in our championship chase. But, when you look at on the average, what you need to do to be a champion in the INDYCAR SERIES, we’ve done that. It’s just our misses have been bad so we need to keep our heads down, we need to get a win and we feel like Road America is a great spot to do it. We’re excited to be in the Hy-Vee car this weekend. From a family perspective, Road America has always been a great place to go and race. And we’re excited to get back up there.”

Speaking about the Road America circuit Rahal says:

“My favorite part of Road America is probably the carousel. “Turn one is awesome too, just the high speed cornering, really on the edge of your seat, pushing the car as hard as you can, that’s really cool. My least favorite, honestly it sounds ridiculous, but it’s probably just leaving there at the end of the weekend. I love Road America, everything about that place, the environment that it has, the fans that it brings, and the special aspect it has for my family. This is a weekend I look forward to every single year. And when we leave there it’s always a bummer to think its one more year until we get to come back and try again.”

Takuma Sato also shared his thoughts on the circuit here at Road America saying:

“Road America is one of the fastest and most challenging racetracks, and a fan favorite in the United States because there is so much history, it’s quite classic, has long straights, heavy braking, high-speed sweeping corners, and it’s a beautiful track. “In order to go fast over there you need to have a relatively low downforce road course package but that’s always against for the braking stability where you really need it. And it shortens the braking, you’re not going to have it with low downforce. Having a good balance is always important and I think we have a very good package.”

The NTT IndyCar Series had a doubleheader last weekend in Detroit, however for Graham Rahal he has as triple header this weekend as not only is Sunday the REV Group Grand Prix of Road America but it is also his first Father’s Day and it is also his wife Courtney’s Birthday so he will be hoping to bring home the victory.

“I’m looking forward to getting up there. Obviously it’s my first Father’s Day, and being at Road America for it is pretty cool. It’s also my wife’s birthday so I’ve got a double header going on there. But for me it brings back a lot of memories of my grandfather and my father, going up there as a kid myself and now I’ve got my own daughter. It’s (being a father) a whole different world. I tell people this all the time, every day is a new evolution. But I’m looking forward to going to a very special place for the Rahal family, Father’s Day weekend and to have my daughter Harlan with me.”

 

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