Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 Total Quartz Honda says he is excited that the NTT IndyCar Series is returning the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the site of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season-ending race and speaking ahead of the race, Graham said:
“I’m excited to get back to Long Beach. I think it’s one of the most iconic venues we go to and one of the crown jewel’s of our sport. It’s always great to go back there. With Courtney being from Southern California too, there are a lot of hometown friends and family, and fans that come out. It’s always a lot of fun to have them there and see that support. We’d like to get back on the podium and get a win here before the end of the year. We’re pushing really hard to make that possible. We’ve definitely got some momentum going here. The team has done a great job at the end of the season to ourselves into a much better position. For us for the final race, we’re just going to try to go win. Hopefully we’ll be able to get it done with Total and all of our partners. To be able to push hard, and be able to start and finish up toward the front has been great but I do also expect that we need to continue to improve our street course package. Long Beach is a good opportunity for us to finish the season on a high note, start 2022 and get some momentum going there as well. We’re looking forward to that.”
Takuma Sato in the No.30 Panasonic Shield Cleansers Honda heads to the scene of his first win with AJ Foyt Racing here in 2013.
Going back to Long Beach is fantastic news. We are all looking forward to it, not just because it’s a fantastic venue but I have always had a special memory because of my first INDYCAR win there back in 2013. Long Beach is just beautiful, a challenging track, and a great atmosphere. We have been very competitive in street courses relatively. We always find good pace so definitely the Acura Long Beach Grand Prix is one of our favorites. We missed it last year but hopefully we have an opportunity to show our speed, so I am definitely looking forward to it.
“Well, nevertheless if its spring or autumn, I think Long Beach will be beautiful. We just kept the best one for the end maybe. Obviously during the pandemic everyone had a challenging time, but I appreciate the entire organization for making the Long Beach Grand Prix happen. It’s going to be a fantastic venue and fantastic race, and now we are carrying great momentum in the last few races. As a team, we’ve finished very high so it is definitely going to be a highlight of 2021.
Oliver Askew in the No.45 Hy Vee Honda will make his first start at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach and speaking ahead of the race he said:
“Happy Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach week! I hope everyone is looking forward to this weekend as much as I am. I’ve never actually raced at this street course before, so I’m very excited to get there and experience it. I’ve been to the race as a fan so it’s an absolute honor to be competing in this event this weekend – it’s one of the most iconic street races in the world and we’ve built up some momentum over the last couple of weekends with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan crew on the No. 45 car with Hy-Vee. I think we can have another strong weekend here in Long Beach so I’m looking forward to it.”
Rahal spoke about the recent momentum saying:
“The series is on a high and headed in the right direction. If you look at next year’s calendar, you’ve got 17 races and 14 of those are on NBC’s main channel. That’s great stuff. It’s been great to have new sponsors like Hy-Vee join us and continue to expand their program and I think there is a lot more interest. The series has good momentum.”
Speaking about the points situation Rahal said:
he season’s been good. “I think we’ve been very consistent, very strong this year overall but we haven’t been able to get a win so I know our focus is solely on that right now. In points we’re seventh and we aren’t able to go forward much and can’t fall too far back so we want to just try to get a win and push for that at this stage.”