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Rahal the number one target for Coyne

Dale Coyne targets Graham Rahal as the man he would like to replace Justin Wilson for the 2010 IndyCar Series season
Dale Coyne has revealed that Graham Rahal is his number one target as he looks to replace Justin Wilson in his line-up for the 2010 IndyCar Series season.

Rival outfit Dreyer & Reinbold Racing revealed yesterday that it had agreed a deal with Wilson and sponsor Z-Line Designs for the upcoming campaign, leaving Coyne to look for a new driver for his team for the season ahead.

The first choice now would be Rahal, who currently finds himself without a deal for the year ahead despite a strong season with Newman Haas Lanigan Racing, while a number of younger drivers are also under consideration.

“Obviously Graham Rahal would be our first candidate, for both his speed and the image we'd want to portray for the #19 car,” Coyne told Racer. “Graham's a proven winner who matured a lot as team leader at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing last year.

“If I were to put a second name out there, I'd say JR Hildebrand. He's Indy Lights champ, and I know he'd shine in the big cars. If [Atlantic Series champion] John Edwards or [runner-up] Jonathan Summerton had Indy Lights – particularly, oval – experience, I'd add them to the list.”

While he admitted that Wilson's decision to move over to DRR had been a surprise – with a two-year deal having been on the table – Coyne added that he wished his departing driver all the best for the new season.

“I talked with Jim Sexton [CEO and founder of Z-Line] last Friday and understand why he made the switch,” he said. “I wish to personally thank Jim and Monica Sexton for their support over the past two years. The new relationship and media aspect are great opportunities for Z-Line and their new partnership with Charter Communications and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

“Of course, I'm also sorry to lose Justin. Last year's race at Watkins Glen was unforgettable, and I want to thank him for making Dale Coyne Racing one of only three teams to score a win in the IZOD IndyCar Series. You never forget your first time, right?!”

Related Pictures

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Graham Rahal - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing   [pic credit: IRL/Helrigel]
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Graham Rahal Detroit
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Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar [Credit: Ed Jones PR]
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Justin Wilson tribute at Pocono   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Graham Rahal sits in his Honda machine on pit lane during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The Chevrolet of Will Power sports a tribute sticker for Justin Wilson at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, Josef Newgarden, and Graham Rahal drive their machines across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Shoveler LX - Unregistered

February 05, 2010 4:18 PM

Not so fast labeling DCR as a backmarker these days: Dale Coyne and Justin Wilson finished 3rd at St Pete and won Watkins Glen which helped them to 9th place in the standings. Graham finished 7th in the championship but no wins this season with Newman/Haas. So its not exactly a step backwards, and unless Ganassi or Panther run another car. I don't see a much better option for him in IndyCar. Besides, Rahal and BoyScouts of America sponsorship has to be good together!

Don - Unregistered

February 04, 2010 11:32 PM

I would think young Rahal would get some interest from some larger teams. The Big 3 unfortunately appear to be set on drivers. He would do very well with AGR or Ganassi if given a chance.

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