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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

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Graham Rahal - Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing   [pic credit: IRL/Helrigel]
Will Power wheel-to-wheel with Graham Rahal (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal shows off the his new helmet prior to the morning warmup for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal gets strapped into his machine before the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson roars up the frontstretch during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson on course during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
The nose cone of Grahan Rahal`s car on pit lane. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media.)
Justin Wilson and Charlie Kimball go side-by-side for the start of the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson exits Turn 2 during practice for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson waits on pit lane prior to qualifications for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal on the frontstretch during practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal and Will Power spray the champagne on the podium for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal during driver introductions for the Indianapolis 500 (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, Justin Wilson, Will Power, Scott Dixon (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe, Graham Rahal and Alex Tagliani (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)

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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.

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!



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