Honda Driver and Ohioan Graham Rahal Earns Podium Finish at Mid-Ohio
Native-born Ohioan Graham Rahal earned a podium finish at the Honda Indy 200 on Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, finishing in third place in front of a large and supportive crowd that included nearly 10,000 Honda associates.
Rahal started the race in fourth place, quickly battling fellow Honda driver and Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato, who ultimately finished fifth. Rahal moved ahead of Sato after the first round of scheduled pit stops, then spent the rest of the race fighting Will Power for seconds, as Josef Newgarden took a substantial lead early on and coasted to victory.
This represents Rahal’s fourth consecutive top-five finish at Mid-Ohio, as well as his second podium finish in the last three years, including his 2015 victory there.
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“Yeah, it was a good run,” Rahal said of his performance on Sunday. “Our Steak ’n Shake car had great pace today, and the guys in the pits did another great job all day long. Overall, there was a lot of hard racing out on track today.
“But our guys are working very hard, too, and we’ll just have to continue to out-drive and out-work them as best we can. We’ll keep our heads down and keep working hard. We’ll be back strong at Pocono in a couple of weeks.”
Takuma Sato’s fifth-place finish was his best result since finishing fourth in the second Detroit race. Though he fell to seventh at one point in the 90-lap race, Sato managed to maneuver around both Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi to take fifth at the checkers in a strong closing stint.
“I think starting third and finishing fifth isn’t the perfect scenario,” Sato admitted. “But we had an issue in the pits [with a lost wheel nut], and we lost a couple of positions when we went back out on track. At the least, [fighting back] was actually fun.
“We overtook a couple cars and regained and recovered the position. I think the four Andretti Autosport cars had a solid day under difficult circumstances, and I think that we performed really well. Let’s just say, the rest of the season we just need to have a solid performance to bring back the championship points.”
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