Rahal: Rossi needs to capitalize on Indy 500 win for series growth

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DETROIT – Graham Rahal has been trying nine times to win the Indianapolis 500. His American countryman Alexander Rossi nailed it in his first attempt.

Rahal’s advice to Rossi? Run with it, promote the hell out of it, and don’t look back.

“I don’t just see it just as what INDYCAR can do. I see it as what can Alex Rossi do,” Rahal told reporters during a media availability on Friday in Detroit.

“When I saw him I said, you don’t understand whats just happened to you. First time here, I get that. But take this thing and run with it. Because you gotta help this sport grow, and your name can do that if you want it too. If you don’t and just disappear, you can do that too. Granted, I see it more from a driver standpoint than a series one.”

Rahal said of the crowd at Indianapolis – an estimated 350,000-plus – that it’s “three Daytona 500s in one.”

Rahal said it’s up to Rossi to make the most of his opportunity the rest of this year.

“If Rossi’s smart, he’s found a home (here),” he said. “He can go pound around the back of an F1 field if he wants, but the opportunity he has been given here is better than anything else he will get.”