Post-Season Profile: 'Good Days Ahead For Us

Post-Season Profile: 'Good Days Ahead For Us"

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
The cast: Race engineer - Bill Pappas. Race strategist - Bob Rahal. Chief mechanic - Donny Stewart.
Twitter: @grahamrahal, @RLL Racing
The car: No. 15 Honda
The driver: Graham Rahal turns 26 on Jan. 4, 2015. From New Albany, Ohio, and resides in Indianapolis. … In 2008, Rahal became the youngest winner of an Indy car race in his first Verizon IndyCar Series start (April 4 at St. Petersburg) and the next year became the youngest Verizon IndyCar Series pole winner (April 5 at St. Petersburg). … He'll be rooting for The Ohio State University football team to qualifying for the Dec. 6 Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis for the second consecutive year. … Is dating NHRA Funny Car driver Courtney Force.
Season finish: Rahal placed 19th in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, one position lower than 2013, and was five points out of 18th.
The gist: Rahal competed in his second Verizon IndyCar Series for the team co-owned by his father, 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time CART champion Bob Rahal. … Has made 128 Indy car starts dating to 2007 (Las Vegas Grand Prix). … Veteran driver Oriol Servia was Rahal's teammate for four early season events. ... He will work with veteran Eddie Jones as his race engineer for the 2015 season. The team tested at Barber Motorsports Park earlier this month.
Season stats: Rahal recorded a podium finish at Belle Isle 1 (advancing seven positions from his qualifying spot) among four top-10 finishes overall in a trying 18-race season. … Back-to-back top 10s at Iowa and Toronto 1 in July. … He led two races for total of 28 laps, including leading 18 laps at Sonoma before having to pit late in 85-lap race and placing 20th, and was running at the finish in 13. … Qualified in the top 10 at four venues, with best of fourth at Houston 1.
Year over year: 2013 best qualifying of eighth at Sonoma (17.7 average) and finish of second at Long Beach (14.7 average). 2014 best qualifying of fourth at Houston 2 (14.4 average) and best finish of second at Belle Isle 1 (15.0 average).
He said it: "All things consid­ered, I think the team is having fun again," Rahal said after the Barber test. "With the new personnel we have in place, I think everyone is enjoying them­selves and I think our team­work showed it today and I'm excited about that. We were very effi­cient, we accom­plished a lot and we shaved a consid­er­able amount of time, just over a second, off of what was done at the race. I feel like we're in a good spot. Eddie (Jones) is really very open to many ideas and he's ready for anything that can improve the car and improve our team. I think there are some really good days ahead of us."