Graham Rahal to debut new sponsor, paint scheme in Long Beach

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Graham Rahal will be sporting new colors this weekend in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to go with a new sponsor, fast-food chain Steak ‘n Shake.

Rahal’s No. 15 Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will now be primarily red. Last year only, Rahal drove a drove a blue car with a National Guard sponsorship.

Rahal is coming off an eighth place finish in the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.

“The St. Pete and Long Beach tracks are a little bit different but I do think that having had a competitive run at St. Pete indicates that we should have a good run at Long Beach,” Rahal said in a release. The nine-year veteran is tied for seventh in the point standings. “I feel pretty confident in our street course car. Long Beach has kind of been one of our strong suits as far as the street courses have been.”

In the past three seasons Rahal,  has finished 13th (2014), second (2013) and 24th (2012) at Long Beach. The 2013 finish is one of just three podiums Rahal has raced to since 2012.

“Long Beach is a very technical track,” Rahal said. “There are a lot of bumps, a lot of different variations of speed and cornering; it should be a lot of fun.”

Malcolm Stewart sidelined by knee surgery for ‘extended duration’

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The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.

“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.

“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”

Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.

He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.

The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.

“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.

“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”

Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.

A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.