Dreyer and Reinbold Racing with Cusick Motorsports confirmed on Tuesday that Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Honda have agreed to release Graham Rahal to step in for the injured Stefan Wilson in the No.24 CareKeepers Chevrolet for this weekend’s 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbrdige.
Rahal will start the race from behind, ironically beside his RLL teammate Jack Harvey who bumped him from the field. Although it is under difficult circumstances, Graham said he was great to his dad Bobby, Honda, Dennis Reinbold, and Don Cusick for allowing him to compete in the race.
Speaking during a media conference call, Rahal said that he takes time to familiarize himself with the different steering wheels and going from Honda and Chevrolet.
Rahal also said that he will lean heavily on Ryan Hunter Reay to get him up to speed and he also has a few hours of practice for Carb Day to get sorted. The good news is that he can bring his seat across from Raahal.
In a statement, Rahal said:
First, I feel bad for Stefan that he is hurt. I’m sure he was very excited after qualifying for the race and had done a great job all month. It’s a real shame that this happened. I wish him the best and hope he has a speedy recovery. I’m sure we will see him again.
“I have to say this came out of the blue. I’ve known Dennis for years personally. I have always liked and respected him as a fellow racer and also a car dealer. When Dennis called, we went to work to make this happen. The most amazing thing is how all these different groups, out of respect for the sport and the Indy 500, agreed to agree and go forward even though it may have been somewhat of a difficult decision. The fact that everyone pulled together to make this happen for Dennis, and also for Graham, makes us very thankful. I am also thankful that Dennis asked Graham to join him and his team and appreciate the commitment and excitement from Mike, Dave, United Rentals and Fifth Third Bank to see this happen. We wish them the best in the race.