Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals Honda avoided the chaos and carnage during Sunday’s inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville to come from 13th place on the grid to finish the marathon three hour event with red flags and caution periods to finish the race in sixth place just behind Ryan Hunter Reay and speaking following the race, Rahal said:
Well first off if you watched that whole race – thank you! That was the second messiest race of my entire career behind New Orleans, whenever we raced there. So, if you hung in there, thank you. We had a pretty straight forward day. The strategies were kind of all over the place, some guys like Markus got us back under strategy and that’s okay. He actually caused one of the yellows that I think benefited him ultimately at the end of the race but that’s part of the game. For me it was a solid day, the car was not great today, we battled it hard but the United Rentals boys did an amazing job in the pits. We stayed clean, kept our nose clean, ran fast when we needed to and how about Honda? I think that’s a top five sweep. Congrats to them, the motors were sailing over the bridge which was a great thing to see. I want to say this, to Scott Borchetta, and his entire group here at the Music City Grand Prix, you guys don’t understand how much Scott put into this. We shouldn’t be critical; we should be thankful. He’s brought INDYCAR to Nashville. It was a packed house today, it was hotter than you-know-what today, and yet people still turned out. Thank you, Scott, Justin, Dale, all the guys in the ownership group – amazing job, I’m excited to be back next year.
In what very well have been his last outing for the team this season, Santino Ferrucci in the No.45 Hy-Vee Honda came from 17th on the grid to finish the race in 11th place and speaking following the action he commented saying:
“Well that’s it for the Nashville Grand Prix. Talk about driving in a parking lot. There were a lot of yellows, a lot of cautions. It was very hard to get the rhythm going. We struggled with understeer, but to be honest this Hy-Vee team did a fantastic job, we were great down pit road all day. We had a butterfly failure with the fuel so that’s why fuel couldn’t flow. But other than that, I’m really proud of this team. We obviously just missed another top-10 but we’ll go get ’em in the next one.
Takuma Sato in the No.30 Shield Cleansers Honda started the race in 24th place and ultimately that is where he finished the race and speaking following the action, the 2020 Indianapolis 500 winner said:
It was a really tough race. Nashville was a fantastic atmosphere and it was a really exciting race. The start of the race, there was so many cars and confusion and many incidents but I was able to avoid everything. In fact, I overtook the guys on track so I was catching the front group and up to the P13 so that was pretty encouraging for the initial part of the race. But after the restart, the crash happened and cars piled up just in front of me and in such a tight corner with two cars in a row just stopping just in front of me so I couldn’t avoid it and damaged the front suspension. I did come back to the pit and the boys did a fantastic job to try to fix it, but unfortunately, we weren’t able fix one of the critical parts in time. We wish we were in the race as it was very exciting, very interesting, but onto the next one and hopefully we have a very competitive weekend at the Indy Grand Prix