Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals RLL Honda says he appreciates the support he has received from his fellow drivers after failing to qualify for ‘The Greatest Spectacle In Racing’, the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge which takes place on Sunday.
Rahal was ironically bumped from the field in dramatic fashion by his teammate Jack Harvey in the No.30 PeopleReady Honda.
Speaking following the conclusion of Sunday’s last chance qualifying, Rahal said:
You’ve got to be positive. You’ve got to be humble and gracious in victory and defeat. I just knew from the start that we were in trouble. It’s a tough day. The last few days I’ve said that we’re in trouble. Ultimately, I don’t why but that run was just really slow. We had a part failure during the run but you’ve got to finish it and unfortunately, rules are written that you can’t fix that part which was a key component, a weight jacker, which is a key component of our cars. You can’t fix that part without withdrawing your time so we had to sit there and wait. There was nothing we could do. When you miss it by .01 I can guarantee you there’s at least that and being able to utilize the driver tools in the car. At the end of the day, it is what it is. I’m proud of these guys. I think everybody has tried exceptionally hard the last couple of days. We came up short. This place, you have to earn it. It’s not handed out. It’s not given. It’s not a guarantee. We came up short. I appreciate all of the support. I think people have known the struggle we were in the last few days. The outpouring of support from the other drivers too, we really appreciate it.”
Jack Harvey in the No.30 PeopleReady Honda struggled for pace in his initial run and was not in the field however, the team sent him back out to cool his Honda engine.
The cool down run was enough as in the dying moments of the session he began his final four lap run.
In the end, there was nothing in it as he made the grid by .7 of a mile and hour with a four-lap average of 229.166MPH.
Speaking following the action the Englishman said:
I just went as fast as I could the whole qualifying session. There’s nothing extra that I feel like I did. The team had some good communication about where we were losing speed and why we were losing speed; things like that. Maybe on the last run I was even more ‘Johnny on the spot’ with some of the small changes in the car. It’s just an amazing-awful moment. I’m so happy that we made the race. That’s what this whole thing is about. Why do you lay it all out on the line? You lay it on the line because it’s the Indy 500. This means the world to everybody. That emotion is pure, raw and the stress of bump day, I don’t wish on anybody. Especially when we’ve got three out of the four cars battling for it. Me and Graham said at the start of the day, we thought realistically it was going to be between me and him. I think the thing that people forget is that Graham is like one of my really close friends. Not only are we teammates but he’s the guy I text when I need advice for stuff. He’s the most underrated driver on the grid. He never gets the respect that he deserves. He’s one of the better teammates I’ve had. It’s not a good feeling knocking him out. It’s not a good feeling knocking a team car out. The flip side of that is that I’m very grateful that the No. 30 PeopleReady car is going to make it (in the race).”
Christian Lundgaard in the No.45 Hy-Vee Honda starts the race from 31st with a speed of 229.649MPH.
It was an interesting day. We didn’t get to this day last year as there were 33 cars but obviously this year with 34 there was going to be a bump day. Having three out of the four cars in there is not ideal. The truth is we’ve got to be better at least for next year. Right now, I’m disappointed where we ended up. Especially with Graham because it’s a bittersweet feeling making it through and getting Jack through as well but not Graham. At this point I’m happy to be in it but I wouldn’t call it regret but a bittersweet feeling not having Graham there.”