Photo: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

RLL to run Fifth Third primary livery for Rahal at Gateway

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The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team announced a greater partnership with Fifth Third Bank earlier this year, and will now run the car as a primary livery ahead of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park later this month on August 26.

Graham Rahal will have a slightly revised Fifth Third livery compared to Oriol Servia’s at Detroit, but it still marks another good primary sponsor to have on board the No. 15 Honda this season.

The full release is below.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) announced (Tuesday) that Fifth Third Bank will be the primary sponsor for the No. 15 Honda driven by Graham Rahal in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park on August 26. It is their second Indy car event as primary sponsor after holding the role for Oriol Servia’s No. 16 entry for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Duals. Fifth Third Bank is in its second year as an associate sponsor for the team and extended their partnership for three more years in May 2017.

“We are excited to be a part of the return of Indy car racing at Gateway Motorsports Park,” said Steven Alonso, Group Regional President of Fifth Third Bank. “We are proud to be partnering with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as a primary sponsor; and are looking forward to seeing Graham Rahal behind the wheel of the No. 15 Fifth Third Bank car at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.”

“As we announced in May, we are thrilled to have extended and increased our relationship with Fifth Third Bank,” added Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. “Having them as the primary sponsor of Graham’s car for the race outside St. Louis is part of that as was having them as the primary sponsor on Oriol Servia’s entry in Detroit. Of the markets the series races in, the St. Louis market is definitely an important one to Fifth Third Bank and we are proud to showcase the company on Graham’s entry there.”

The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be televised live on NBCSN at 9 p.m. ET on August 26. Graham Rahal has won two races and earned three podiums and one pole so far this season and is only 58 points behind series leader Josef Newgarden in the standings with four races left in the 2017 championship.

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.