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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 sits in his Honda machine prior to practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal turns into Turn 10 during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal waits on pit lane prior to practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal apexes Turn 1 during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal through the chicane during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal enters Turn 11 during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Steak n Shake to sponsor Graham Rahal in 2015
Graham Rahal locks the front brakes up entering the Esses during Tuesday`s Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ganassi team mates Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan talk tactics Graham Rahal during open testing at Barber Motorsport Park on Monday March 16 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal on track for open testing at Barber Motorsport Park on Monday March 16 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Bryan Herta Autosport 2015 Indy 500 entry sponsored by Green1. (Picture Credit: Bryan Herta Autosport)
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)

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