Graham Rahal to miss Homestead opener

Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing announced today that the No. 06 Dallara/Honda/Firestone race car to be driven by Graham Rahal at this Saturday's Gainsco Auto Insurance Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway has been withdrawn. The car sustained extensive damage when Rahal crashed Tuesday night during an open test at Homestead.

Graham Rahal.
Photo by Ron McQueeney - IRL.

Due to a shortage of parts and the time needed to make repairs, the team will now focus on rebuilding the car for the April 1st test at Sebring and the Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, April 4-6.

Rahal was passing another car during testing when he lost control and made contact with the SAFER barrier in Turn 2. "The car felt really good," he reported after the accident. "I caught Oriol (Servia) and overtook him in Turn 1 and was almost past him. I was on a higher line than I had been taking and that was a lot bumpier with a little less grip. The rear stepped out on me and I caught it and then it did it a second time and I couldn't catch it and crashed."

The car sustained a large amount of damage to the gearbox, bell housing and three of four corners.

"It's disappointing that we're not going to be racing in the season-opener and I feel bad about it," said Rahal. "It will be tough not to be out there but at the same time we need to take it slowly and not rush putting the car back together. Even if we had everything available, there aren't enough hours before the first practice on Friday to get the car put back together. The guys have worked awfully hard to be in the position to run here and it's not the time to pull all-nighters. At this point we are going to focus on the St. Pete race."