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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)
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)
The nose cone of Grahan Rahal`s car on pit lane. (Photo by: Eric Anderson 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)
Ryan Briscoe, Graham Rahal and Alex Tagliani (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Sponsor Brantley Gilbert and Indy Lights champion Sage Karam prior to restarting Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal in pit lane during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis Road Course Test during the open test on the new road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 30 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal in car (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
The new logo of the Verizon ndyCar Series, following confirmation that Verizon is taking over as title sponsor in 2014 in a multi-year deal. (Photo Credit: IndyCar Media, Verizon)
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)

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