Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing officially confirmed today that the Army National Guard will serve as the primary sponsor for Graham Rahal's #15 entry in 2014. The announcement comes after a winter-long battle for the deal with Panther Racing who had the program from 2008 to last season. RLLR was awarded the Guard last fall, however the sponsorship could not be confirmed until this February when Panther's appeals process was over and the deals was finalized.
“This is an historic day for all of us at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said RLLR co-owner, Bobby Rahal. “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.”
The addition of the National Guard to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is believed to put the team into a position to hire a non-paying driver to the Brownsburg, Indiana based organization. Rahal's former teammate at Newman Haas Lanigan Racing, Oriol Servia, is believed to be the leading candidate.
“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.”