Rahal believes his Indianapolis 500 car is ‘money’


INDIANAPOLIS – One of the happiest drivers after the final practice session for Sunday’s 103rdIndianapolis 500 was Graham Rahal. Although he was 17thon the speed list at 223.664 miles per hour in the No. 15 Honda, Rahal was happy with the way the car performed in traffic.

As fellow-driver Ryan Hunter-Reay pulled up in a golf-cart, Rahal told the Andretti Autosports driver that he had a race car that was “Money.”

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“It was good there at the end,” Rahal said. “I’m always the cautiously optimistic person, but if I tell you it’s good; it’s good. I was able to pass a lot of guys and was up there with the Penske Boys at the end.

“If it stays like that and we get ourselves in position, we have a good chance at this thing. We have a few things to overcome, but it felt good. It felt really good.”

This came after Rahal had a slight brush with the Turn 2 wall when his right-front tire “kissed” the outside wall.

“The car was OK, then it took off with understeer and brushed the wall,” Rahal said. “With the winds like this, it gets gusty. I was behind two or three cars. If you get a crosswind and hit the wake, it’s going to go.

“It was one close call, but after that, the car was really good.

“Maybe we bent something, and it helped the setup. The car felt fine and it drove straight.”

There are plenty of tire marks on the white walls at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rahal has left a few of those with his car in the past, including Friday.

“I felt really good,” Rahal said. “My car was strong. If the car can stay like that, we’re good. The temperatures should be similar. We have the downforce package right. We tried some things we haven’t tried yet.

“I don’t know what happened, but she sure turned on all of a sudden.”

INDYCARRahal is also optimistic at his ability to pass in the 500-Mile Race.

“I was able to pass, and I’ll be honest, earlier in the week, I thought no,” Rahal said. “But I was genuinely able to pass. I think we’ll be fine.

“There is no doubt we are in a good spot. There is a lot that can go right or wrong, but we are in a pretty good spot.”

Rahal starts 17thin Sunday’s 103rdIndianapolis 500. He is flanked by 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan to the inside and 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon to the outside.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”