After signing National Guard, Bobby Rahal now working on second IndyCar ride sponsorship


It’s one down, one to go for IndyCar team owner Bobby Rahal – maybe.

Now that he’s secured full-time National Guard sponsorship for son Graham’s No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ride for the upcoming IndyCar season, the elder Rahal has turned his sights on finding sponsorship – and a driver – for the No. 16 car in the team’s stable.

That is, if there will even be a second RLLR car for the 2014 IndyCar season.

“First off, we don’t have the funding in place to run the second car,” Rahal told “We have some (funding), but it’s a long way from being able to run the season in its entirely.

“For us, we’ve got a number of prospective sponsors that have shown interest, and until they commit, we’re in a wait-and-see mode. We also have some drivers that are interested, and I continue to talk with drivers who reach out every week to see what it would take to run with us next to Graham.”

Who will potentially drive the second RLLR car — if indeed there is one — remains to be seen. Names that have been bantered around in various media reports include  Oriol Servia, Conor Daly, JR Hildebrand and Alex Tagliani.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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