NEWMAN/HAAS/LANIGAN RACING FORCED TO WITHDRAW ENTRY FOR GRAHAM RAHAL FOR THE INDYCAR SERIES SEASON OPENING GAINSCO AUTO INSURANCE INDY 300
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 27, 2008) --- Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing are disappointed to announce today that they were forced to withdraw their entry for 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. The car sustained extensive damage when Rahal crashed here on Tuesday night during the final day of a two-day test for teams transitioning over from the Champ Car World Series.
In spite of the best efforts of the IndyCar Series and series suppliers, the team was unable to overcome the shortage of some key parts and the time needed to prepare for Friday's first practice. The team is now focused on rebuilding the crashed car for a test at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday, April 1 and the Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, April 4-6.
"It's disappointing that we're not going to be racing in the season-opener and I feel bad about it," said Rahal, 19. "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. I'm just going experience this weekend from a different perspective and pay attention to what is going on with Justin. I'll probably watch some of the race from the Spotters Stand to get another perspective. We'll have to start all over for the race in Kansas which will now be my first oval race."