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100th Indianapolis 500 team preview: RLL Racing

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MotorSportsTalk looks through the Verizon IndyCar Series grid ahead of the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Next up is Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

By comparison to other higher-financed teams, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing continues with a smaller group and has carried over its 2015 success into the opening rounds of 2016. The team that won Indy in 2004 with Buddy Rice and whose co-owner, Bobby Rahal, celebrates 30 years since his 1986 race win, is arguably Honda’s strongest bullet heading into May.

ENTRIES

Graham Rahal, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Rahal Letterman Lanigan with Theodore Racing Honda
Spencer Pigot-R, No. 16 RLL/Mi-Jack/Manitowoc Honda

2016 SEASON SO FAR

Rahal would argue his strongest drives came in St. Petersburg and Long Beach, while his best results occurred at Phoenix and Barber. He’s riding the wave of momentum from last year and arguably more focused than ever on bucking the trend that Honda can’t contend this year the ‘500. Pigot debuted at St. Petersburg in the team’s second car. 

INDY OUTLOOK

Whereas Rahal’s had Oriol Servia as his second teammate the last two years, now in Pigot, he’s got a ‘500 rookie to bounce ideas off of. Still, Rahal speaks highly of the Floridian’s feedback and maturity beyond his years.

The team’s penchant for using strategy at Indy to its advantage is well known and Rahal was one of only two Hondas last year (Marco Andretti) who made inroads on the Chevy barrage. He’ll seek to do likewise this year and Pigot is a strong contender for race rookie-of-the-year honors, either on pace or with a strategic gamble. 

RECENT RESULTS

  • 2015: 5. 15-Rahal (17), 29. 32-Servia (13)
  • 2014: 11. 16-Servia (18), 33. 15-Rahal (20)
  • 2013: 20. 16-Jakes (20), 25. 15-Rahal (26), NQ. 17-Jourdain
  • 2012: 17. 15-Sato (19), 19. 30-Jourdain (22)

Chip Ganassi to be honored in Petersen Museum exhibit

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.

Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dario Franchitti’s 2010 Dallara IR-05. Photo Kahn Media

Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.

“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’ will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.” 

“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.

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