While Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has come off its best season in years, and driver Graham Rahal has enjoyed a career season, things look set to remain status quo for 2016.
Team co-owner Bobby Rahal confirmed to MotorSportsTalk that the plan is set to be similar as this year for the single-car effort.
“I think we could still do it, but the likelihood is very slim,” Rahal told MotorSportsTalk on Thursday.
“It’s an awful lot of money to find. I would say it’s doubtful.”
One thing also set to return for 2016 is Steak ‘n Shake, which Graham Rahal said after his Mid-Ohio win was his “good luck charm” this year. Formal confirmation is expected somewhat soon.
“We’re close to getting that done. I think that’ll happen,” Bobby Rahal said.
Graham Rahal, who has most recently been spearheading the Justin Wilson Memorial Auction, will take part in a Firestone tire test next week at Phoenix International Raceway.
It is likely the team’s last test this fall with the current aero package, before any aero upgrades come on board for 2015.
“Graham’s doing a tire test at Phoenix next week. So that’ll probably be it for a while until the aero kits.” Bobby Rahal said.
Bobby Rahal also said he expects the team to run a second car for the Indianapolis 500, as the team has done in the past.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott became the eighth driver to join the Superstar Racing Experience, the short-track series being started by Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart.
The two-time Daytona 500 winner and 1988 NASCAR Cup Series champion was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015 and was voted NASCAR’s most popular driver 16 times (his son, Chase, has received the honor the past two years). Elliott also closed his full-time Cup career driving for Evernham’s Dodge team from 2001-03, winning the 2002 Brickyard 400.
“I am excited to reunite with Ray Evernham and some of the great legends of our sport,” Elliott, who joins Stewart and Bobby Labonte as NASCAR Hall of Famers in the SRX, said in a release. “I look forward to racing at some of the most historic American racing destinations and putting on an awesome show for the fans. We have a special driver field and it will be fun competing with some of the greatest drivers of all time.”
The series, which is expecting to have a dozen drivers, also has Tony Stewart, Helio Castroneves, Bobby Labonte, Paul Tracy, Tony Kanaan, Willy T. Ribbs and Mark Webber in its lineup.
SRX was co-founded by NASCAR Hall of Famers Stewart and Evernham and was unveiled July 13.
Several drivers have expressed interest in the new circuit, which is modeled on the International Race of Champions (IROC) series that matched drivers from various auto racing disciplines in equally prepared cars for an annual four-race series for 30 years.
With the addition of Bill Elliott, Superstar Racing Experience has yet to reveal a schedule or tracks, but it’s expected that Stewart’s Eldora Speedway will be on the slate.