Saturday, October 2, 2010

Graham Rahal Finds Full-time IZOD IndyCar Backing for 2011 and Beyond

Photo taken at 2010 Honda Indy Toronto

As 2010 IZOD IndyCar season closes this weekend, plans for 2011 for many drivers are in varying states of construction. For Graham Rahal, his 2011 season prospects have gotten a major shot in the arm as the 21 year-old driver and the TBC Retail Group announced partnership into  The largest supplier of replacement tires in the United States, TBC Retail Group consists of the National Tire and Battery, Merchant Tires and Auto Centers as well as the Tire Kingdom chains. The company had sponsored Jay Howard for Sarah Fisher Racing for 5 races in 2010 and maintains motorsport support within NASCAR along with prominently placing in the NHRA.

Sidelined from starting this season due to lack of funded full-time rides, Rahal's partial schedule in 2010 involved competing in four different teams. The 21 year-old in the more enviable position to have full-season sponsorship backing.

With no team component announced as of this time, the American driver and company appear to shopping around his sponsorship. Certainly Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing is a possibility for Graham Rahal in 2011 but there might be some sore feelings about how his team since the Champ car tour was unable to fill him until late this season. The performance of Newman/Haas/ Lanigan Racing this team has also been spotty. Sarah Fisher Racing is another likelihood as the TBC Retail Group has previously doubt with the team but the fact this group has no experience running a full-time effort.

Before this sponsorship announcement, Graham Rahal was name was connected to a potential third car for Target-Chip Ganassi Racing. An excellent situation for Rahal and TBC, a similar rumour of a third car Target car swirled last year just before Danica Patrick resigned with Andretti Autosport. A final possibility could be the formulation of a new team or perhaps the reactivation of Rahal/Letterman Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

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