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Joy and pain for Rahal Letterman Lanigan aces in Portland

Lundgaard was the closest opposition to the Penske-Chevrolet trio in qualifying, sufficient reason for Josef Newgardens early engine-change penalty dropping him to eighth on the grid, the #30 RLL car started third.

Lundgaard drafted behind Scott McLaughlin and can Power right down to Turn 1 on the opening lap, so when the latter flicked to the exterior to take the racing line, Lundgaard stayed inside, entering Turn 1 and Turn 2 wheel-to-wheel with the championship leader, and carrying more momentum in order that he grabbed second place exiting Turn 3.

There he’d remain for the opening stint, with Power in close attendance, however when Lundgaard pitted for the very first time, hook refueling issue and strong out-laps from the Penske driver after his stop meant the RLL driver slipped to third. There he remained, but towards the finish of the stint he dropped back from the very best two as his car appeared harder on scrubbed Firestone alternates. Switching to scrubbed primaries for his third stint meant Lundgaard was easily passed by Pato OWard and Newgarden, but he were set for a top-five finish.

However, stalling as he left his pitbox for a third time dropped him to 10th, even though he climbed to eighth, attempting to pass Alexander Rossi for seventh caused him to outbrake himself at Turn 1, slide in to the runoff where he collected an advertising banner. That obliged Lundgaard to perform a slow lap to the pits to really have the offending item removed, and dropped him to 21st place.

So although his Rookie of the entire year rival David Malukas had an unhealthy day too, finishing 14th, Lundgaard saw the gap between them reduce from 11 points to five.

It had been not the finish that people wanted obviously, he said. The beginning was good with taking second place and the entire pace was good but we shall study from our other challenges and move ahead.

In comparison, Graham Rahal was very positive about his climb from 11th to fifth, despite nearly snatching fourth from OWards damaged car in the closing stages.

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

A top-five is similar to a win for all of us today, said Rahal who has seen the RLL team arriving at the fore in the next half of the growing season. I’d have loved to obtain Pato there by the end and thought we’d the pace to take action. I have been setting him up for approximately 15 laps ahead of take action so never to take action, Im just a little salty.

However the guys did an excellent job in the pits. Im really pleased with everyone at Honda, everyone at RLL for keeping their heads down and getting us here. And really proud to represent United Rentals. We raised much more money for Turns for Troops so many thanks so much in their mind for all of these support. The list continues on.

For Total, weve had good success with this particular car. Weve had an easy car within Portland and hopefully next year we are able to come back and obtain a win.

The 3rd RLL car of Jack Harvey had a far more subdued weekend, starting 17th and finishing 15th.

Were just lacking a small amount of speed at this time and were racking your brains on why its nearly gelling, said Harvey. Im uncertain what it really is but I believe we have been making progress. Its subtle rather than as quick so when much when i want.

The positive section of today may be the pit stops were excellent, so I need to give thanks the people on pit lane for that.

Obviously, its getting towards the business enterprise end of the championship now and I simply want to head to Laguna Seca and try to obtain the best finish we are able to and hopefully have our best finish of the entire year.

Jack Harvey, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Jack Harvey, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

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