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Graham Rahal joins RLL for 2013

"I've known him since he was 17 years old," Lanigan added. "I've known Bobby a long time. And I know the quality team Rahal Letterman Lanigan puts out, and I think it will be very successful."

Graham has spent the last two seasons at Ganassi Racing, and while that's brought him seven top-five finishes in 32 races (including two second-place finishes) and undoubtedly developed and seasoned him as a race car driver, it's clear that he had grown increasingly frustrated playing second fiddle to the team's top drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti.

Graham admitted that his new three-year deal at RLL would "erase all questions in my mind about knowing where I stand in terms of the pecking order" compared with his experiences in 2011 and 2012.

"It's even down to little strategy things, things we've done in the past," Graham explained of some of the tensions that had been building at Ganassi. "I genuinely feel I should have won the Kentucky race in 2011 but for some reason we were the only car in the entire field that didn't put enough fuel in. You look at Baltimore last year. I didn't even need to pit and yet I was pitted and that took me from second back to 11th. [At RLL] I don't have to worry about those things. I don't have to worry about strategy.

"Everyone on the team is not going to put me in a position where I can't succeed, particularly my dad," he pointed out. "He is going to do everything he can to give me a 100 per cent effort and that gives me a lot of confidence. Dad and I work well together and, quite frankly, I've always relied on him heavily no matter what team I have been on."

After three years away from IndyCar, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing only returned to full season competition in 2012 when it fielded former F1 driver Takuma Sato, who came close to pipping Dario Franchitti for victory in the 2012 Indy 500. Bobby Rahal said that he was still hopeful that the team would add a second car to the team's line-up in 2013, and that Sato was still in the running for a seat with RLL of that happened.

"We'd love to have Takuma back," he said. "[But] there are other guys out there that are available, guys like Ryan Briscoe or Justin Wilson who I have a great deal of respect for both of those guys. We're working hard. We're not there yet, but I'm hoping by year's end we'll have something put to bed."

Graham's season will be backed by primary sponsor TBC Retail Group and by associate sponsor Valvoline. He will have his first outing in the team's #15 car on November 27 at Barber MotorSports Park and will also take part in a test at Sebring International on December 12. He will inherit Sato's race engineer Gerry Hughes, with his father Bobby acting as race strategist.

"This is probably the most excited I have been to join any team because I see the potential behind what my dad and the rest of the team have been able to accomplish over the last year with Takuma," said Graham. "Dad's team helped resurrect Ryan Hunter-Reay's career and Buddy Rice's and Michel Jourdain's," he pointed out, adding: "He gave Danica her shot and I'm really stoked about being here. It's a fresh outlook for me.”

"Knowing the development and other things that the team will now have the time to do to prepare for the season makes me more than thrilled to be here," he concluded.




Related Pictures

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Announcement of Graham Rahal joining the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team co-owned by his father, Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Announcement of Graham Rahal joining the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team co-owned by his father, Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Announcement of Graham Rahal joining the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team co-owned by his father, Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Announcement of Graham Rahal joining the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team co-owned by his father, Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan takes a selfie with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew in Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Chip Ganassi congratulates Tony Kanaan on winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power wheel-to-wheel with Graham Rahal (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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