IndyCar: Graham Rahal talks about Team Ownership

Graham Rahal, driver of the No 15 for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, has a major change coming in his future.

With the teams expansion to three cars this season, Rahal is considered the elder statesman of the team.  Having driven for his Father’s team for 10 seasons, the 30-year-old is feeling his days are numbered in racing.

“Where am I? I’m old. I’m getting closer to the end. I think that we all know that. In the position I’m at in my career now, I would say I’m definitely focused on winning more than ever before. I’m focused on being a good teammate. I’m also focused on helping build this team.”

“It never really was my mindset that someday I would be a team owner. The minute that new building was built, I got a phone call from Mike and my Dad. It was very clear that the expectation is that I’m going to assume that role with Pat Lanigan. I’m focused on how we get the team to the next level as well.”

“There’s a lot to think about, to go through.  But definitely more of a seniority role.  We have a lot of changes within the organization, even some as of today, which I’m not going to comment on.  I don’t think they’ve been announced.  All good things, elevating guys into roles, guys that deserve the opportunity to go to management roles.”

“Where am I at in my career? I’ve got to kind of be the guy now to try to lead the charge a little bit. I think when you’re younger you don’t really think about those things, certainly when I was just focused on me, my car, my team. Still to that extent. I’ll be quite selfish when I say we really want the 15 car to be winning all the time. At the same time it’s important that we get this team headed on down the right path as I creep up in age here a little bit. Still young-ish, but (smiling).”

” Well, so I don’t think Jack needs a mentor, but I do think Christian, he’s been around Fernando Alonso and guys like that this year. It’s not like he’s never been around more experienced guys. There’s probably nobody more experienced than Fernando.”

“For me it’s an opportunity. Every time we get a young guy in there, they all operate different. It’s interesting to see how they operate and how they’re successful, how they’re fast, what they do. Even last year, we experienced Christian. We obviously had Oliver. We had Santino, who Oliver was a guy who pored over the data. Santino, I don’t know if he even looked at it. Takuma was, right? Everybody is different. But you learn from guys like that. You learn to see,  Okay, his works for them and why.”

“For me it’s refreshing. Every guy that I’m around, you can adapt something from their style. So even like last year, Indy GP with Christian, he was quick, qualified well. All of his time gain was on one part of the racetrack. He crushed Takuma and I there. But we had never seen somebody drive the track that way. I t was a totally different style than what we had seen. Maybe that’s because he had never driven there. I don’t know, right? You have to learn from somebody like that. It’s something that we can all take from each other this year.”