National Guard dropping Panther Racing for Rahal

It's thought to be the best sponsorship package in the IndyCar paddock and it's heading to another team in 2014. RACER reports that the National Guard is leaving Panther Racing following the Oct. 19 finale in Fontana, Calif. in favor of the team of Bobby Rahal, David Letterman and Mike Lanigan.

And 25-year-old American Graham Rahal will become the new face of The Guard for the IndyCar Series.

Panther owner John Barnes, who landed the National Guard as his primary sponsor in 2008, did not return phone calls but a source familiar with the inner workings of the Guard confirmed the change. Bobby Rahal, who began fielding a car for his son this season, was unavailable for comment, as was Lanigan and young Rahal.

The Guard sponsorship has reportedly been anywhere from $10-13 million per year and includes a substantial at-the-track program for current Guardsmen and women, in addition to honoring past war heroes. More at

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