IndyCar 2015 team preview: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

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It’s year three of Graham Rahal at his father Bobby’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team. Armed with another fresh amount of new personnel and with a single-car focus, the goal is to break out of the low teens on a regular basis throughout the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series.

Team: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Engine/aero kits: Honda
Sponsors: Mi-Jack/D-A Lubricant/Steak ‘n Shake (No. 15)

2014 STATS

Races: 18
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (Rahal)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 479 (Rahal 345, Servia 88, Filippi 46)
Laps Led: 35 (Rahal 28, Servia 7)
Championship Position: 19th (Rahal), 24th (Servia), 28th (Filippi)

2015 LINEUP (Engineer in parentheses)

15 Graham Rahal (Eddie Jones)

2014 RECAP (Rahal driver recap)

Despite what on paper looked to be all the ingredients for a big 2014, the season was once again a struggle for RLL Racing and Graham Rahal. Not that the issues were anyone’s fault, but it came down to a combination of factors – a tight field, some missed setups and an unhealthy amount of poor luck – that contributed to another challenging campaign. Rahal again banked a single runner-up finish – Detroit race one as opposed to Long Beach in 2013 – but was otherwise a regular outside the top-five.

2015 OUTLOOK

One of IndyCar’s two remaining full season single-car teams has hit the reset button again. Gone in the overall RLL team picture are Bill Pappas, Mitch Davis and John Dick; in their place are Uwe Wolf, Mike Talbott and Martin Pare. Rahal will work with Eddie Jones, a veteran team engineer. Thus far Rahal has hailed the new personnel group as he’s worked with Talbott and Pare before, and Jones when he was on the team’s sister car. For now, a second car isn’t being added and would figure to appear only at the Indianapolis 500. Graham’s already engaged to NHRA Funny Car star Courtney Force over the offseason and seems in good spirits. Overall, the team doesn’t want to detract from Graham’s primary effort, and will look for more regular podium and top-five results this year.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.