Wednesday, October 6, 2010

[Indy Car] Graham Rahal 2011, he has the money now where to?

Graham has driven for four different teams over the course of the 2010 season after losing his ride with Newman/Haas due to a lack of funding over the winter. He started in only 12 of the 17 races but placed in the top ten seven times with a season high of fifth in Toronto. But in my eye's his most impressive drive came at the second race of the season at St Pete when he managed to place the Sarah Fisher Racing Dollar General car ninth.

I have been following this for several weeks now since a few random tweets (rumors only) from the paddock suggested Graham to Ganassi in 2011. Also on Graham's twitter page he seemed very light hearted about the end of the year coming up and it was no surprise when he announced at Homestead Miami that he had already secured funds for the 2011 season, which great for him, but now we all have to wonder what team and are the rumors true.

"TBC Corp.’s Retail Group will back racer Graham Rahal for the next two years in the Izod IndyCar Series with its ServiceCentral, Tire Kingdom, NTB, Merchant’s Tire and Big O brands, although Mr. Rahal has not committed yet to a team for next year."

With the rumors of Ganassi floating around I did manage to find an interview with his agent John Caponigro who said “You’re darn right, we are talking to Ganassi. We want to get Graham on one of the top teams in the series and that team is certainly at the top of the list.”

Bob Crostarosa, senior vice president of marketing and advertising for TBC Retail Group commetned that they were "still interviewing teams and having discussions with teams. We have narrowed it down to a couple and we have a couple that we prefer but we are continuing to discuss that. We will jointly decide that team."

One of the other teams that was directly mentioned was Rahal Letterman Racing (RLR) which has been out of Indy Car racing since 2008 due to lack of sponsorship with the exception of running the 2009 Indy 500 with Oriol Servia and 2010 Indy 500 with Graham Rahal. They have however been competing in the ALMS series winning the 2010 ALMS Manufacturer and Team Championships with BMW. It would be interesting to see this team attempt to make a comeback into the sport with a strong young talent like Graham Rahal but I don't know if it would be the best decision for him as far as progressing his career.

Graham Rahal commented “Again, we are talking to a lot of teams. Dad’s team did a good job for me at Indy but the best thing for me to do is not be in my father’s shadow. I need to do it on my own. We have not canceled anything out but we have a lot of teams in play.”

Big thanks to inRacing news for the interview comments above.

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