The last meeting on the podium for a Rahal and an Andretti was in 1996
Drivers with two of the most recognizable surnames in Indy car racing shared the podium following the exciting MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway on June 27, when Graham Rahal won and Marco Andretti finished third.
Surprisingly, it's the first time in their Indy car careers that the two - who each now drive for teams owned by their fathers - have celebrated together in Victory Circle. The last meeting on the podium for a Rahal and an Andretti was Sept. 1, 1996, in the Molson Indy Vancouver street-course event. Marco's father, Michael, won that day and Graham's dad, Bobby, finished second.
Our consistency is there, I just wish we were a little bit better.
The MAVTV 500 in Fontana, Calif., was the 42nd time in which a Rahal and an Andretti, including Marco's grandfather, Mario, and cousin John, have been on the podium together in an Indy car race. There were three occasions when Bobby Rahal and Mario and Michael Andretti swept the podium in their careers.
Graham Rahal's rebound this season from a frustrating 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season is highlighted by the victory in the 250-lap race. It was his second career Indy car win and first since April 2008 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., when he was 19 years old. It also was Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's first victory since July 2008 by Ryan Hunter-Reay at Watkins Glen.
Rahal, who started 19th in the No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda, moved to fourth in the 2015 championship standings with his fifth top-five finish through 11 races.
"It feels good. I'm most happy for my dad and (team co-owners) Dave (Letterman) and Mike (Lanigan) and all our sponsors that kind of came back and gave us some life this year," Graham said. "This is a big, big deal for us. There's a lot of people that made a lot of comments about myself and about our team and about our owners and everything else that weren't fair, to be quite frank, so to kind of rebound the way we have all season... this feels good to win.
"I feel like we're starting to find our form everywhere a little bit, and I think that's helping us in the big picture."
Marco Andretti also is experiencing a resurgence of sorts this season. The third place at Auto Club Speedway was his fourth top-10 finish of 2015. Andretti advanced one position to sixth in the standings and remains the only driver to complete every race lap thus far this season (1,307).
"I'm not going to sit here and feel bad for myself. I'm just going to keep working," said Marco, who qualified third in the No. 27 Snapple Honda for Andretti Autosport. "It's good that we're bummed out for third (and not winning).
"I think it's my 20th podium," he added. "I wish I had more (career) wins than two. Almost 1,000 laps led. But we just have to keep pushing and hope that I have a long career ahead of me that we can really start racking them up. Our consistency is there, I just wish we were a little bit better."