Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Graham Rahal: Racer

Graham Rahal has used driving skill rather than marketing or branding to become one of the stars of the IRL series. Now in his third season of driving the 02 car for Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing, Rahal has become more comfortable with the team and the series. While doing so, the 20 year old Ohio native has set three rather impressive records in open wheel racing.

In April of 2007, then 18 year old, Rahal finished second at Houston to become the youngest Champ Car driver to earn a podium finish ever. In his first IRL start, on April, 6, 2008, at the age of 19, Rahal became the youngest winner of a major open wheel series race when he took the trophy at St Petersburg. This April, Rahal became the youngest IRL pole winner ever when he qualified first at St Petersburg as a 20 year old.

Rahal is chilling in Canada this week, preparing for this weekend’s IRL race in the Great White North. He took the time to answer a few questions for SRM.

What has to be your biggest moment in racing, so far?

“Winning at St. Pete in 2008, to become the youngest winner ever!”

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

“My father, without a doubt.”

The father is, of course, 1986 Indy 500 winner, Bobby Rahal.

What do you consider your highlights so far this season?

“It would have to be being on the podium at Richmond and a strong series of qualifying efforts all year.”

Any special projects?

“Yes, my charity, The Graham Rahal Foundation.”

Now, we have something new for the drivers and fans to have some fun with. Until we come up with a better name it’s being called the ‘Eight to Debate’. These same eight questions will be posed to different drivers in this forum.

Graham Rahal’s ‘Eight to Debate’.

Foyt or Andretti?

“Mario Andretti specifically. He is a great man and has accomplished amazing things.”

Petty or Earnhardt?

“Earnhardt, you have to respect what he accomplished.”

Indianapolis or Daytona?

“Indianapolis without a doubt, doesn’t compare.”

Monaco or LeMans?“

LeMans. The history and cars are incredible, as is Monaco, but LeMans is a wonderful event.”

Dirt or Asphalt?


Oval or Road Course?

“Road Course.”

Goodyear of Firestone?

“Firestone. Doesn’t compare.”

‘Days of Thunder’, or ‘Talladega Nights’?

“Talladega Nights, because, sadly, I haven’t seen Days of Thunder.”

We won’t hold that against you, Graham. Thanks for being the first in this series on young driving stars, and good luck in the future.


  1. Excellent Gene - going to comment over on your blog since this isnt public...

  2. Love the Eight to Debate questions...

    Rahal does belong but I am a little disappointed that NHL has not improved as much on the ovals as I expected. He is getting good experience though and I expect he will contend by 2011.

    Just in case my name shows up and no one recognizes it - Moseby is here!

  3. I for one think that Rahal is an outstanding talent. Whilst there's been all the pub' for the likes of Danica and alike. I like the demeanor of the kid and the way he carries himself. He's yet to be part of any major controversy either on or off the track.

    Enough with the Mayfield situation, that's my way of thinking. And can some hold that judge's feet to the fire ? Does he not get it ?
    It's now bordering on the pub' that Michael Jackson's still getting and the guy's actually dead.

    Alan aka tophatal...............

  4. I can remember when Bobby Rahal (his dad) was racing.I think his son will eclipse his dads accomplishments very soon.

  5. Does any one know where the add your avitar thingy is??

  6. Mose...I think that once he's raced on these IRL tracks 2-3 times, he may be a force.

    Al...Great point. He handles himself very well for a 20 year old. Maybe Kyle Busch could take a few lessons from Rahal?

    Photo....bobby was a hard-nosed racer in that Miller car.

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  8. Of course the answer would be "road course"! LOL

    This is one son of a famous driver who won't let us down.