This weekend’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway is set to be an extra special event for Graham Rahal as it was here 24 years ago that he joined his father Bobby on the podium to celebrate victory, standing on the podium alongside his dad for the very first time.
Bobby won the PPG IndyCar World Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in 1992 in fantastic fashion as a owner driver with his Rahal-Hogan Racing car leading all of the 200 laps of the race.
Fast forward to 2016, and the name Rahal is a force in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Bobby running Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with his business partners and friends David Letterman and Michael Lanigan with Bobby’s son Graham racing in the No.15 Steak N’Shake Honda.
Rahal had a breakthrough season in 2015 coming close to winning the Verizon IndyCar Series championship and this year with the return of the Phoenix Grand Prix Graham will be hoping to be in a position to challenge for the victory under the lights.
Rahal goes into this weekend’s race following a disappointing start to his season last time out in St Petersburg as he was caught up in an eight cat accident having started the race from 6th place on the grid coming home in 16th place.
Bobby Rahal has an incredibly successful history at the Phoenix International Raceway taking two wins (1984 Race 2 and 92), he claimed one pole position (1986) and six podium finishes 2nd in (1987, 1990, 91, and 3rd in 1986).
Graham will be hoping that he can start his own chapter in Rahal family history book at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend and there is on reason why he can’t achieve a great result on Saturday night following his strong performance in qualifying in St Petersburg, he would have been competing at the front with Penske and Andretti had he not been caught up in the accident.
The Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix takes place on Saturday April 2.