These quotes are attributed to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing co-owners Bobby Rahal and Mike Lanigan, and IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal.
“Justin was one of the best – on track and off. He was lucky because he had a wonderful family with his beautiful bride Julia and two lovely daughters and he was excited about all the possibilities in life, not just in 2016 but beyond, for both his career and his family. Every year I spoke with Justin about joining our team, even as recently as Mid-Ohio. In addition to his ability to be one of the best race car drivers, he was the ultimate team player.
“Justin was a wonderful person and that’s what made this so distressing. I ache for his family. I have no doubt that our community will try to bring them as much peace as possible. Justin was universally liked and respected by his fellow competitors and there are not many people out there that can make that claim. The only thing that makes it tolerable, and it sounds trite, is that he was doing what he wanted to do. That doesn’t take the pain away from those of us who grieve now, but for him he most likely was enjoying every second of what he was doing. And we have to believe that to continue.
“As I said in a get together with Max, Dario and (Jimmy) Vasser following Greg Moore’s death, we have no choice but to remember the man, the personality and the smile.”
“At these very sad times, one has to question, why? A father, son, husband, friend, and so young. As we all know, Justin was not only a great talent, but as all great drivers have is the heart and love of his sport to overcome all the challenges presented to get to the pinnacle of his lifelong dream.
“I first met Justin in 2004 when Mi-Jack hired him for his first season in Champ Car. I found out quickly that he was not only a dedicated driver with a lot of talent, but more importantly a class act with a wonderful family. Coming from a humble background, you could see that Justin’s career was a family affair.
“Under the circumstance of his death, there is no doubt that our makers wanted him now, and I believe he is sitting in the perfect race car smiling down on us. He lived out his childhood dreams and passed away doing what he loved best. Let’s not mourn his passing, let us celebrate his time with us and learn from his example and life lessons he taught us. I am obviously crushed by his loss, but we must support his wife, children, and parents during these most difficult times. I am quite sure Justin would tell us to go forward and live your own dream as he has and now is being rewarded in the biggest race we can imagine next to his maker.
“Hard to imagine, more difficult to accept, but that’s what faith is, isn’t it.”
“Some things in life just don’t make sense. I know there’s always a plan, but this one doesn’t make any sense to me.
“Justin was the epitome of a great guy, an incredible teammate, great father and a wonderful friend. My time spent with him will forever be time I cherish, and I learned more from him than any other teammate I ever had. He led by example, he cared about others and the greater good, and he had a genuine way about him that you always knew you were safe when he was around you on the race track. There are people you can trust, then there’s Justin. Never did I ever worry about racing him wheel to wheel, not once.
“Justin, rest in peace my friend. My fondest memory I’ve ever had in racing was shared with you by my side and I’m going to do everything I can to win this championship for you. Thanks for the memories, you’re a badass.”