Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team’s Graham Rahal is excited to be heading to the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway following a frustrating start to his 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season last time out at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg which saw the No.15 Steak N’Shake Honda caught up in a eight car collision.
Rahal started the race in 6th place and was classified in 16th place and speaking about the return of IndyCar to Phoenix, Rahal commented by saying:
Exciting is the word that comes to mind when I think about Indy cars returning to Phoenix. To go back there where Indy car racing has such a storied past is cool. It’s also cool as my dad won here before, and dominated in 1992 to score the team’s first win. I think we can make a great run of it and hopefully get Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing another victory in the dessert.
Speaking about the challenges of racing at the Phoenix International Raceway, Graham Rahal commented by saying:
The dusk or when the sun begins to go down behind the stands in Turn 1 will be very tricky, for sure. Getting the right visor darkness on for the race will be key. Physically this will be the most demanding race of the year, I believe, so it’s important to make sure I am hydrated and ready for a lot of G-forces and laps. It’s going to be a very difficult race in many ways.
The importance of the race in Phoenix is not lost on Rahal who had a breakthrough season in 2015 commenting by saying:
This race is huge. I honestly feel like this race could shape our entire season. If we have a good run, we will bounce right back in points. I think our competition will be bringing their ‘A’ game and it will be very important that we do as well.
Ahead of the race this weekend, Graham will experience something very special as he hitches a ride with the Thunderbirds in an F-16 jet, and speaking about what is going to happen on Thursday, Rahal commented by saying:
This is a dream come true for me. I am a very patriotic person and appreciate our military more than they will ever know. I always said as a kid if I didn’t drive race cars I wanted to be a fighter pilot. So literally, for me, this opportunity is a dream come true!