Harvey bumps team-mate Rahal out of Indy 500
By Damion Smy
Monday 22nd May, 2023 - 9:33am
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda team will not have Graham Rahal at the wheel for the 2023 Indy 500.
Last Chance qualifying saw Rahal bumped out of the 33rd and final remaining starting spot – and the 107th running of the Indy 500 – by team-mate Jack Harvey.
“It’s an amazing feeling and an awful feeling at the same time,” said Harvey. “It’s bittersweet – I mean, you don’t want to knock your team-mate out.”
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Christian Lundgaard was the fastest of the five drivers facing elimination, with a 229.649mph average ensuring a start in next week’s 500, ahead of Dale Coyne Racing’s Sting Ray Robb (229.549mph).
That left Rahal and Harvey, with Rahal’s 229.159mph run pushing Harvey into the drop zone with a 228.477 mph run.
“I was just sliding around too much; exit off of three pretty loose, four kind of just sliding around really,” Harvey reported on team radio at the session’s halfway point. “I don’t know why we’ve jumped as much though; I know everyone’s jumped off a bit, but we’ve jumped off a lot from where we were.”
Harvey improved to 228.929mph, but fast not enough to avoid elimination, before heading out in a do-or-die final run as time ran out in the 60-minute session.
Targeting 229.159mph on that final run, Harvey’s initial lap was a 229.4mph – slower than Rahal’s run – 229.0mph for a 229.2 average, before a third lap and minor roll-bar adjustment saw a 229.1mph before the fourth and final nail-biting lap.
With no time left on the clock, Rahal had no opportunity to reply to Harvey – who managed to pull a 229.166mph run to shade Rahal’s time and eliminate his team-mate in a tenacious, dramatic result for the team.
“The stress of Bump Day is absolutely real but it doesn’t change my love of this place,” said Harvey.
“It’s a huge effort by the 30 car, all the guys who worked hard to make this possible – I think it’s no secret that it’s been a struggle, even honestly, the first two runs in qualifying weren’t awesome, and the hope was that all three of our cars could make it. I hate it that it was as Rahal I bumped out.”
Rahal was looking for his 16th consecutive Indy 500 start, but will watch on as Harvey starts 33rd, sharing the 11th row with Lundgaard and Robb, while Alex Palou starts from pole position.
We’re f****** in. #INDY500 pic.twitter.com/Fq6aQBHgfQ
— Jack Harvey (@jack_harvey93) May 21, 2023
|Rank||Driver||Car No.||Lap 1 Time||Lap 2 Time||Lap 3 Time||Lap 4 Time||Status||Total Time||Average Speed|
|2||Sting Ray Robb||51||39.1195||39.2052||39.2133||39.2913||–||02:36.8293||229.549|
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