The Buffalo Motorsports Examiner spoke with second-generation IndyCar star Graham Rahal of Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan Racing last week – find out where he came from here, plus what he’s doing and what his future holds over the next few days.
IndyCar driver Graham Rahal spoke about his father’s and team owner Mike Lanigan’s influence on his life, but there is one other auto racing and Hollywood icon that has also influenced him in the short time he got to know him – the late Paul Newman.
“If you asked anybody who knew Paul Newman or knows me – number one, he’s my hero – he’s probably the single-most influential man that I’ve been around, he’s influenced my life,” stated Rahal. “I’ve been very fortunate to be exposed to some great individuals, but I think single-handedly what Paul has done in and continues to do even past the time that we lost him, he’s probably changed, improved more lives than almost anybody.”
“People think of guys like Bills Gates, people who are big donors, but with the Newman’s Own Foundation…and all the things that that supports and all the kids’ lives that that will change forever,” continued Rahal. “And on top of that he never asked for any media about it – he was just an incredible guy, and I feel very blessed and fortunate to have had him in my life for a few years.”
The IZOD IndyCar Series has been silent since Labor Day weekend in Baltimore, but this weekend heads back to the track for the final double-header of the season in Houston – a track Rahal has past experience at: he finished second there in CART in 2007, in a race he skipped his prom to compete in.
“I would say right now, my favorite is the street courses, because that’s what our team has excelled at recently - races like Houston,” said Rahal. “Houston is one of those races where I feel I can really do a great job.”
Such long gaps in the schedule are something of a challenge for drivers, but it allows the opportunity to get back on track with family and a workout schedule, said Rahal.
“We test a little bit (during the break), however for me, you have to stay committed, you have to work out, you’ve got to do all the different sorts of fitness training, try to be at home – you know, everybody travels a lot, and it’s fun, but it’s difficult – the more you’re away the harder it is to stay fit.”
Coming up – learn about how much racing Rahal would like to do, and where he sees himself headed in the future.
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