BROWNSBURG, Ind. (February 6, 2014) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that they have signed an agreement with the Army National Guard, the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States, to be the primary sponsor of the No. 15 entry driven by Graham Rahal in the IndyCar Series.
“This is an historic day for all of us at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. “I can’t overstate how proud and how privileged we feel to represent the men and women of the Army National Guard. This is a huge responsibility that each of us feels and we are looking forward to working with the National Guard to achieve their goals.
“And I can’t imagine a better ambassador for those men and women than Graham, as an American, driving the National Guard Dallara-Honda IndyCar,” added Bobby Rahal.
The 2014 season will mark the eighth in a top-tier open wheel racing series for the 25-year-old Rahal, who became the youngest winner in major auto racing history when he drove to victory in his first IndyCar Series race at the 2008 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at the age of 19. The following season he became the youngest pole winner at the same event – both while driving for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, a team co-owned by Michael Lanigan at the time.
In 110 Indy car starts, Graham Rahal has earned 21 top-five finishes — including his 2008 win at St. Petersburg — 49 top-10’s, and led a total of 121 laps. In addition, he won poles at St. Petersburg (street course) and Kansas Speedway (oval) in 2009. Rahal came close to winning again in 2012 as he led the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway before a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place. He finished second again in Long Beach in 2013 and had competitive runs at Iowa, where he won the Heat Race, Sonoma and Baltimore in 2013.
“I am really over the moon about driving the National Guard car,” said Graham Rahal. “Being an American and an extremely patriotic person, I am very proud of the men and women who fight for us and keep this great country safe and free. To have the opportunity to represent the National Guard and all that they do both here and abroad means more than anybody could ever know. This has been a long time coming; we have all worked very hard for this. For our sport, for every individual member of our team and for myself, this is probably the best news in the history of our organization. I am thrilled and feel very fortunate to be a part of this and I hope that I can make all the guard Soldiers proud and get them up front and winning both on and off the track.”
About the National Guard
The National Guard’s roots date back to 1636, when colonial militias — made up of ordinary citizens — would put down their plows and pick up their weapons to protect families and towns from hostile attacks. Today, Citizen-Soldiers hold civilian jobs or attend college while training part-time, staying ready to defend America in the event of an emergency
The National Guard serves both state and federal governments. The difference between the Guard and other military branches is that while Guard units are combat-trained and can be deployed overseas, they are just as likely to serve in their home communities — training a minimum of one weekend per month, and two-weeks a year. The incredible versatility of the National Guard enables its troops to respond to domestic emergencies, combat missions, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction missions and more — all with equal speed, strength and efficiency
The Army National Guard operates in all 50 states, three territories (Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and the District of Columbia. Whether the call is coming from the state Governor or directly from the President of the United States, Guard Soldiers are always ready and always there.
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2014 the team will begin their 23rd year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles, 80 podium finishes and 1992 series championship. The team competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009 – 2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 — Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. In 2014, BMW Team RLL is competing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program in the GTLM class and recently finished second and fourth in the Rolex 24 at Daytona to bring their win total to 10 races and 44 podium finishes.
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David Letterman, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing:
“I couldn’t be more proud to be affiliated with the National Guard. To demonstrate my excitement I am also signing up.”
Mike Lanigan, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing:
“To represent our country with sponsorship from the National Guard and get involved with the fine young men and women who chose the career path in protecting and insuring our freedom today in this ever changing world is something I am most grateful for and honored to do. In representing our oldest armed forces, it is our job at RLL to assist the tradition of having the finest young people insure the American liberties as they have done so well in the past, and we sometimes take for granted.”
Follow the National Guard and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing at: