2018 was the first year that Rahal Letterman Lanigan ran two cars full time with drivers Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato. It feels like there have been growing pains with the additional driver.
I never know how to feel about Graham as a driver. It’s like he’s the Cheerios of drivers. He’s generally okay, not spectacular like Lucky Charms, but not horrible like Shredded Wheat (the non-frosted kind). He’s just there. His 2018 season ended with an eighth place finish overall. Graham pulled one podium finish, two top-five finishes, and nine top-tens. It is a step down from the 2017 season where Graham had three top-ten finishes.
Takuma Sato also had a mediocre year compared to his 2017 season (which anything besides a repeat Indianapolis 500 win is going to be mediocre). Sato finished twelfth overall, including a win at Portland and seven other top-ten finishes. I thought switching back to a smaller team was going to be good for Takuma. He was actually going back home, as he’s been with RLL in 2012. Perhaps there are still growing pains with the team.
I’m hopeful 2019 will be better and the two teammates will start to stand out amongst a strong group of drivers in the NTT INDYCAR series. Plus, they’ll have a third driver for the 500 with former Ed Carpenter Racing Road Course Buddy: Jordan King.