Happy 61st Birthday, Bobby Rahal (VIDEO)


Time to give a shout-out to 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner, three-time CART champion and current IndyCar Series team owner Bobby Rahal, who celebrates his 61st birthday today.

Outside of his famous exploits in American open-wheel racing, Rahal also ran a pair of races during the 1978 Formula One World Championship and later returned to F1 for a relatively brief turn as team manager for Jaguar in 2000. Additionally, he made numerous forays into sports car racing during much of the 1980s.

But the ’86 Indy remains his signature victory. As the race headed for its climax, Rahal, Rick Mears and Kevin Cogan were the main contenders but with a handful of laps remaining, it appeared Cogan was set to drink from the glass of milk – until Arie Luyendyk’s spin with six laps to go brought out a caution.

With Rahal running second behind Cogan, the green came back out with two laps to go and Rahal managed to get the jump. Cogan was left to fend off Mears for second as Rahal pulled away to the win.

The triumph was an emotional one for him and his Truesports team, whose owner Jim Trueman was nearing the end of his battle with cancer. Trueman was in attendance for Rahal’s victory, and while he sadly passed away just days later, he was able to experience a moment of pure joy at the Brickyard with his driver.

Currently, Rahal oversees the Rahal Letterman Lanigan operation, which is seeking a second driver to race alongside his son, Graham, in the upcoming IndyCar season.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.