Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing was supposed to turn the corner this year. Their engineering department remained strong and both drivers returned to their NTT IndyCar Series team. Unfortunately, the start of the season opening race at the Texas Motor Speedway couldn’t have gone any worse.
Last year’s pole sitter, Takuma Sato, crashed his No. 30 Honda in qualifying for Saturday night’s Genesys 300. Due to qualifying being so close to race time, they didn’t have enough time to get his backup car ready and would in turn not be able to start.
Sato, was credited with a last place, 24th place finish. It was his fifth finish of 15th or worse in his last six Texas starts.
It went from bad to ugly for RLL shortly after. Graham Rahal had a fast race car. He was quick in practice earlier in the day and qualified inside of the top 10 for Saturday night’s race too. But, while the car was on the grid, the ECU failed on Rahal’s No. 15 Honda, causing the team to frantically,
The team had to reprogram it and he would start the race from pit lane. As the field took the green, Rahal was just coming out of the pits. By the time he settled in, he was in 23rd, three laps down. He’d only make up one lap and finish two laps down in 17th.