Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rahal, Kimball to Drive for New Chip Ganassi Team in 2011

Photo Credit: Ron McQueeney
At the season finale race for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series in 2010, orphaned driver Graham Rahal received multi-year support from auto parts service business TBC Retail Group heading into 2011. As financial support (knowing the adage that money buys speed) serves as a vital ingredient in obtaining a major league ride.  In a major announcement with superstar car owner Chip Ganassi, it was announced that Rahal and the TBC Retail Group has found a home in a new team accompanied by American Indy Lights stand-out Charlie Kimball.

Running just a partial 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule last year driving for four separate race teams, 21-year old Graham Rahal was undoubtedly happy with the development between himself and a champion-proven team owner. “This is the kind of opportunity every driver dreams of. I have been working diligently, specifically over the past several months, to get into one of Chip’s Indy cars, and now that dream has become a reality with the help of Service Central, and many others.” Rahal said.

To pilot a new #38 machine starting at the season opener of St Petersburg, Graham Rahal will be joined by rookie series teammate Charlie Kimball driving the #83 car. A California native driver will competed in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Series, 25-year old Kimball drove for AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport consistently to 4th place in the final points standings. The #83 car will be sponsored by diabetic product provider Novo Nordisk which holds special meaning because Charlie Kimball is personally diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Assembling an all-new IZOD IndyCar Series team for 2011, this Chip Ganassi-owned operation will run largely autonomous to the current Target Chip Ganassi Racing team helmed by drivers Scott Dixon and 2010 IZOD IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti. This team will operate out of a large shop owned by drag racing legend Don Prudhomme who himself has indicated an interest in future IndyCar Series involvement. With Rahal and Kimball together, this team will serve as a much-needed bolstering of American open wheel drivers. As a series which is primarily run in the United States, a call his beckoned for a long-time to see a stronger, more populated American driver contingent on a regular basis.

As part of Chip Ganassi's statement on his new team venture, the 2010 Indy 500 and 2010 Daytona 500 winning car owner said "This should create some excitement for the series both on and off the track”.

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