The young “veteran” and Ohio native, Graham Rahal, always looks forward to racing in his home state. Bringing lots of friends and family each year, this proud Buckeye boy NEEDS to be on the podium…or how about, the TOP of the podium? With that said (and in salute of his one-time team owner), we’re taking a shot at a Top Ten list.
10. He’s Hungry
Graham’s last three Mid-Ohio finishes are P16, P8 and P20. Do you think he’s satisfied with that? No, sir! He’s as hungry for a win here as James Hinchcliffe is for a Tim Horton’s doughnut.
Chip Ganassi has threatened GR with the following: If he doesn’t win, Graham will have to wear replicas of his dad’s glasses and mustache from 1986. First person to Photoshop that and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org gets a…well, mad respect (and I’m sure some sort of prize pack).
8. The Victory Circle Speech
“I’m so excited for this win. I’d like to thank my family and friends, my crew, Chip Ganassi, Service Central…and most importantly, Scott…Scott Dixon, where are you buddy? My Ganassi teammate, Scott Dixon, everyone! Come over here and hug it out, Scottie D!
7. The Ladies
After being named “Indianapolis’ Most Eligible Bachelor”, a win at Mid-Ohio could expand Graham to an entirely new market. “Women of Akron,” prepare for your new heartthrob.
6. Naming Rights
If he wins at Mid-Ohio, we can call winning at both St. Pete and Mid-Ohio a “Graham Slam.” Obviously this goes for several future combos (and potential breakfast options in the Ganassi hospitality tent).
5. Making up for Edmonton
Rahal looked to be situated for a nice result in Edmonton when he was drilled by another car in the first few laps. This resulted in a Dukes-of-Hazzard-type slide off the track and a collision with Boss Hogg—er, Paul Tracy. After a ‘what the heck?’ gesture to Tag and offering up some surprisingly non-profane commentary in the broadcast booth afterwards, Graham has to be antsy to get in a full race.
4. The Lockout Is Over
During the lockout, the NFL saw a lot of punters getting side work in the IZOD IndyCar Series the past few weeks. Cars have been getting more airtime than the evening news. With the lockout resolved, that makes it much more likely that Graham (or any driver) will be able to finish this race without being booted all over the track.
(ok, this one was a stretch)
Did you know that on six different occasions, IndyCar drivers have won at Mid-Ohio two years in a row? Graham basically just needs to win on Sunday, and he’s set for next year.
2. The time is right
Graham has been quick in all of his races at Mid-Ohio, but neither he nor his team (then Newman/Haas) seemed to seal the deal. Whether it was driver error, bad luck or mechanical issues, something always put a stop to a good run. Plus, the Service Central team seems to be hitting their stride. They're likely to get a win before the season ends, and what better place than Mid-Ohio…
1. Coach Rahal
First LeBron leaves, then THE Ohio State University revamped their beautiful football program. A victory by Graham Rahal might just be what the state of Ohio needs. Someone buy the kid some sweater vests and give him a clipboard…Graham will save the day.