Rahal bumped from Indianapolis 500 field after last-minute Harvey heroics


Posted on

| Written by

It was jubilation for Jack Harvey, and devastation for Graham Rahal, who was bumped from the field of the 107th Indianapolis 500 in a dramatic Last Chance qualifying session.

Rahal was hoping to make his 16th consecutive Indianapolis 500 start. He was one of three Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing drivers that ended up in the scramble for the final three grid positions, along with his full-time team mates Jack Harvey and Christian Lundgaard, and rookie Sting Ray Robb.

Lundgaard timed in with an average speed of 229.649 miles per hour, followed by Robb, at 229.549 mph. Harvey, meanwhile, was over a mile per hour slower than both, with a run of 228.477 mph – and Rahal’s run of 229.159 mph pushed Harvey into the drop zone.

Harvey would wait until ten minutes remaining of the one-hour session to make a second run after cooling his engine for over half an hour. A run at 228.929 mph was an improvement, but not enough to bump Rahal from the field.

He went out as time expired for a third and final run. Rahal could only watch knowing that if Harvey went quicker, he would have no time to get back into the race. Harvey strung together four consistent laps to time in at 229.166 miles per hour.

By just over four milliseconds, Harvey – who was arguably driving for his very future in the series – had made it. And Rahal, on the 30th anniversary of his father famously failing to qualify for the 1993 Indianapolis 500 as the reigning CART Champion, was out.

Rahal had finished third in this event in 2011 and 2020, and arguably had the strategy and speed to win the race in 2021 until he crashed due to a loose wheel following a pit stop.

Lundgaard, Robb, and Harvey will start next week’s race from the 11th row – from which a few drivers have come close to winning the Indy 500, but no one has ever pulled off.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free


Browse all IndyCar articles

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Author information

RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

5 comments on “Rahal bumped from Indianapolis 500 field after last-minute Harvey heroics”

  1. GREAT Qualifying. Love a slow burner

  2. I’d never realized starting order for the Indy 500 gets determined by average speed rather than lap time.

    1. James (@jjroney225)
      22nd May 2023, 6:53

      Well fastest 4 lap time, reported as average speed.

      The official Indycar timing sheet lists the times of the individual laps, the total, and the average speed for the qualifying run.

    2. They do it on all oval qualifying, and it’s a great idea to do. Times don’t illustrate much, whereas the average speed is intuitive and tangible. It’s also fun to watch the car’s current speed live on the screen, so that you can enjoy every moment of the run.

      @RJ O’Connell
      It would be a good idea to add km/h converstions in articles.

    3. It’s the same thing, really. If you have the highest average top speed over 4 laps, that means you also completed 4 laps in the lowest amount of time.

Comments are closed.