This weekend the Verizon IndyCar Series makes its annual trek to Lexington, Ohio, for the 33rd running of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Among the 21 drivers on this weekend’s entry list, one stands out as the hometown favourite.
Graham Rahal, driver of the #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda, grew up with racing in his blood. His father Bobby was one of the biggest names in IndyCar racing throughout the 80s and 90s. A native of Medina, Ohio, some of Rahal’s biggest victories came at the Lexington track, where he won back in 1984 and 1985.
As one of IndyCar’s youngest American stars, Graham Rahal is often one of the most popular racers in the paddock any given weekend. But come Mid-Ohio, Rahal will be the one to watch among the thousands of fans expected over the three-day event.
“It’s always great to go back to Mid-Ohio. I have a lot of fond memories, and have had a lot of great days there.” Said Rahal ahead of this weekend’s on-track activity.
Fans had a lot to cheer about back in 2015, when Rahal managed to beat Justin Wilson to the finish line, and win for the first time at his home race. This weekend, the 28-year-old will be looking to join his father as a two-time winner of the long running event.
“Obviously winning there in 2015 really highlighted my career thus far. I’m excited to get back and hopefully see a great crowd once again. Hopefully we can have a great run in the Steak ‘n’ Shake Honda because we definitely need it at this point in the championship. My hopes and expectations are high.”
Rahal has had his share of ups and downs this season, the high point came when he dominated the doubleheader in Detroit, winning both races. Since Detroit, he has finished every race in the top ten. Last time out, in Toronto, Rahal started on the front row in second position and eventually finished in ninth place.
If Rahal is to return to winning form this weekend, he will have to get by some tough competition. Scott Dixon, who currently sits atop the IndyCar standings, is the winningest driver at Mid-Ohio, having won a total of five races.