Graham Rahal finished fifth, Christian Lundgaard ran as high as second early in the race on outright pace, and together, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing drivers showed how far the team has come from digging out of a big slump.
“We’re getting better,” Rahal told RACER. “As we had that conversation a long time back, we knew it was going to be a major challenge — and it has been — but tip of the cap to our engineering staff and our team as a whole to just keep our heads down.”
Over the last seven races, Rahal’s earned five finishes inside the top 10, highlighted by fourth at Toronto and the fifth on Sunday in Portland. With Lundgaard, four top 10s and a season-best for RLL with second at the recent Indy Grand Prix all point to the intensive recovery the team has authored.
“Mid-season was not pretty at all, but starting in Toronto, I think we really turned it around,” Rahal added. “The races that we haven’t done so well, like Iowa, was self-inflicted — a little mistake on the strategy side, but overall, we’ve been competitive and I thought today was just a good clean, solid run. Nice to have a clean run in Portland. I mean, everybody was shockingly well-behaved.”
Rahal enters the season finale holding 11th in the championship and could move into the top 10 if he has an excellent weekend. Lundgaard holds 15th and has fellow Rookie of the Year candidate David Malukas hot on his tail in 16th. The third member of the RLL driving squad, Jack Harvey, is 22nd in the standings.