Graham Rahal turns 27 today, looks for an even better 2016

Associated Press

It’s easy to forget that Graham Rahal is still in his mid-20s because he’s been around for more than a decade, dating back to his win at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs in the Formula Atlantic class.

But 2006 marked his first season in the actual Atlantic championship and a year later, 2007, he was an 18-year-old rookie in Champ Car skipping his prom and scoring podiums, and finishing fifth in points.

He then won his first IndyCar race in his first start in a new chassis-engine combination in 2008 at St. Petersburg, but never fully re-realized that early career potential over the next six seasons in full, only in brief spurts.

In 2015 though, it all came good. Rahal won twice, contended for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship as Honda’s best bullet with a rebuilt, refocused Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, then tied the knot with fiancee Courtney Force at the end of the year.

Young Rahal turns 27 today and looks to continue building on what was a career year this next season. He’ll actually get things started later this week with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test, aboard one of the BMW Team RLL new BMW M6 GTLMs. He’ll race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.