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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)
Accident for Sage Karam on the first lap of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia accident during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Mike Harding)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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