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National Guard an IndyCar 'game-changer’ for Rahal

Graham Rahal believes securing National Guard sponsorship for his IndyCar entry can help elevate the family team to the level of its bigger rivals.

Graham Rahal views the National Guard sponsorship awarded to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the 2014 IndyCar Series season as a 'game-changer' for the team on and off the racetrack.

Rahal, who enters his second season driving for the team co-owned by his father, was among the two dozen guests who spoke at IndyCar media day at the Amway Centre ahead of the season kick in St Petersburg next month, and explained that he hopes the backing can raise RLL to the heights of the sport's more illustrious names.

"As a team, this elevates us to a whole new level us because it allows us to invest in the people, shock programmes that we haven't had, that the Ganassis, Penskes, Andrettis of the world have," the 25-year old, who recorded a pair of top-five finishes in the Honda-powered #15 car in 2013, insisted, "I think it's going to help elevate us to a different level we haven't been in many years, probably since the team was a Ford factory team or funded by Miller or Shell in the old days. It kind of gets us back to that sort of level.

"Our engineering staff is completely new for this year across the board pretty much other than Eddie Jones has stayed on board. A lot of new faces. This is going to allow us to continue to invest in those sorts of people we need, the programs, that sort of thing. If you look at us last year, we never really did any development at all, never did any shock development. Coming from Ganassi, where I was trying four different pairs of shocks every single weekend, it was completely different to come to this team where we never had an option. We ran the same ones every single track, every single race.

“It takes quite an investment, [but] I think we're going to be to that point now."



Related Pictures

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JR Hildebrand on the second day of pre-season testing at Barber Motorsport Park. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media.)
Graham Rahal at Iowa Speedway for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by DEKALB - Saturday June 22, 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jone for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal in car (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal, Mark Miles, and Doug Boles chat during the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis Announcement. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mayor Greg Ballard, Roger Penske, Graham Rahal, Mark Miles, and Doug Boles during the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis Announcement. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing) talks with the media after working on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday September 5 2013 as part of an evaluation of the configuration for possible use in future IZOD IndyCar Series events. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing) heads out of pit lane to work on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday September 5 2013 as part of an evaluation of the configuration for possible use in future IZOD IndyCar Series events. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing) at work on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday September 5 2013 as part of an evaluation of the configuration for possible use in future IZOD IndyCar Series events. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing) at work on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday September 5 2013 as part of an evaluation of the configuration for possible use in future IZOD IndyCar Series events. (Photo Credit: Brian Simpson for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing) at work on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday September 5 2013 as part of an evaluation of the configuration for possible use in future IZOD IndyCar Series events. (Photo Credit: Forrest Mellott for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his test in an IZOD IndyCar Series DW12 Dallara with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Wednesday September 5 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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