Graham Rahal can’t close deal in runner-up finish at Barber


For most of Sunday’s Grand Prix of Alabama, when he was driving in the clear, Graham Rahal had a simple thought:

“S***. This might be the day.”

It was thought that likely reached its apex with 15 laps left at Barber Motorsports Park and the second-generation driver sporting better tires and fuel mileage than the four cars in front of him.

One of these days.

It’s a preamble to many sentences regarding the career of Graham Rahal.

One of these days, he will have the best car.

One of these days, Rahal will be in the right place at the right time.

One of these days Rahal will lead the final lap of a Verizon IndyCar Series event and win his second-career race, the first since April 2008 at St. Petersburg.

Sunday, despite arguably one of the drives of his career, was not one of those days. Again.

“I didn’t think they would make it on fuel,” Rahal said. “It worked to a certain extent.”

To an extent is finishing 2.2061 seconds behind Newgarden in second, for his 10th career podium finish.

Rahal, in the single car No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda run by his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, clearly had one of the two best cars and was likely two to three laps from overtaking Newgarden.

But there wasn’t three more laps. There were just 90 and Rahal ran out of time.

“I knew I was going to have to push 110 percent, drive as hard as I could to make up the time,” said Rahal, who had to make up a double-digit deficit, passing Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon before setting his sights on Newgarden and a victory Rahal has been striving toward for more than 110 races.

“I didn’t realize it was like 15 or 20 seconds I had to make up,” Rahal said.

“My concern today was passing,” he added. “Coming off Long Beach, it was difficult to follow others. It could be more difficult. But today I made a lot of moves, (turns) 3 into 5 is where I got most people. It seemed to be pretty good.”

More than once, Rahal was able to pass cars on the outside through Turn 5 on his final march to the front. Before Rahal was held up the most by Dixon, he had been making laps two seconds faster than Newgarden, who was shaky on gas mileage. Rahal finally got around Dixon with two laps remaining, which wasn’t enough.

“I feel like all year we’ve been in a position that we could’ve (finished well),” Rahal told NBCSN afterward.”We lost opportunities to finish in this kind of position in the first three races, so to get this Barber feels so good.”

Rahal’s No. 15 team had finished 11th twice, at St. Petersburg and Long Beach, with their best performance being eighth at a rain-soaked NOLA Motorsports Park.

Sunday’s podium was Rahal’s first since finishing second at the first Detroit race last year. Now he sits at 10th in the driver points standings.

“We could’ve gone way forward or way back, depending on how it went,” Rahal said. “I’m happy to say we went forward. I can not thank this team enough. We’ve had a couple of tough, tough years. But we’ve fought really hard.”

But coming up short may not weigh on Rahal’s shoulder as much as it might have in recent years.

“I had to push so hard all race,” Rahal said. “I’ll sleep well tonight.”

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”