By Phillip Schmitz, Staff Writer
FORT WORTH, Tex. — If this weekend offered any sort of a reference stick for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the Indianapolis 500, to say they missed the mark would be a complete understatement.
The trio of Graham Rahal, Jack Harvey, and Christian Lundgaard were the slowest three cars in practice on Saturday. Qualifying didn’t yield anything better with Rahal qualifying in 24th, while Lungaard and Harvey qualified in 27th and 28th.
It wasn’t that long ago this team was near the front of the order. They won the 2020 Indianapolis 500 with Takuma Sato, and were very competitive a year later with Rahal at both the Indianapolis 500 and at Texas Motor Speedway. The latest run of form has left Rahal fuming.
Rahal said via NBC Sports, “Definitely frustrated this entire weekend. We expected a lot out of the Fleet Cost & Care team. None of us were in the window at all. For a team like us, it’s absolutely unacceptable.”
The race wouldn’t go any better with all three Rahal Letterman Lanigan going a lap down by Lap 36 of 250. By races end both Harvey and Lundgaard finished in 18th and 19th place, three laps down. Rahal’s day was far worse than his teammates, not even see the checkered flag.
Rahal was part of the Lap 223 caution involving No. 29 Andretti Autosport driver Devlin DeFrancesco in Turn 3. Last year Rahal was critical of DeFrancesco after being involved in an accident at Texas Motor Speedway. Sunday however wasn’t the case a year later.
“Really in this situation, nothing Devlin did wrong,” said Rahal. “Unfortunately just a racing deal, but I’m in one piece. I cheated Texas, again.”
Rahal would end up finishing 24th. Pretty sure the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach can’t come soon enough for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
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