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IndyCar Indy 500

Rahal “not allowed to ask anything” to Chevy after Indy 500 switch

Graham Rahal says his switch to Chevrolet power means “I’m not allowed to ask anything” about his engine or its parameters ahead of this weekend’s Indianapolis 500.

Graham Rahal, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Rahal, who failed to qualify his regular Honda-powered Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car, takes over from the injured Stefan Wilson at Cusick Motorsports/Dreyer and Reinbold – which is a Chevy-powered team.

Rahal admits he has “spent my entire career with Honda”, and when asked by Motorsport.com if there were any subjects he’s not allowed to ask about the engine side, he replied: “Basically, I’m not allowed to ask anything. But that’s OK. I’m appreciative of the opportunity and that’s all I need.

“They don’t want to use the normal terms with me, which is fine and I respect it. I can’t thank Honda and Chevrolet enough for allowing this opportunity. It’s been a real shock to me [that they agreed to the deal], so I respect and understand the situation.

“I don’t really need to know a lot, I just need to know when they want me to go where, and how fast they want me to go.”

Graham Rahal, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Graham Rahal, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Rahal completed installation laps in a special session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, along with his former team-mate Katherine Legge – who was the other driver involved in the wreck that put Wilson in hospital with a fractured vertebra.

Wilson underwent successful surgery on Wednesday night, for a T10-T12 posterior fusion and internal fixation to the fracture, and said: “I’m really pleased with the results and feel a lot better today. I’ve been able to get on my feet and walk around. The recovery journey starts now.”

His replacement Rahal says Friday’s two-hour Carb Day final practice session will be vital to get a feel for his new ride.

“Carb Day for me is usually about the finishing touches, and today that’s not the case!” he added. “We plan use to use a lot of tires, get a feel for the long runs.

“We’re expecting some gusty winds so see how the car is affected by the wind and check how the car brakes coming into the pits. For me, I’m going to need to learn a lot more than I normally do.”

Graham Rahal, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Graham Rahal, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Despite the last-minute nature of his deal, Rahal says he’s been impressed with Dreyer and Reinbold, for whom he last drove at Iowa in 2010.

“They’re very, very prepared, I’m thankful and excited for the opportunity,” he added. “I feel good about it, I think we have a good chance to have a very surprising and strong weekend, so I’m looking forward to it.

“I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t think it was a good chance to go for it. I don’t need participation trophies, I’d like to go win this thing. Hopefully we can do it.”

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