Graham Rahal appeared headed towards a tough weekend after failing to make it into the Indianapolis 500 in last chance qualifying on Sunday.
A day later Stefan Wilson was run into from behind by another Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver in Katherine Legge in Ture 1. The resulting crash left Wilson was a fractured thoracic vertebrate and was the first of a turn of events that will ultimately see Rahal compete in the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 in a Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda.
“Right away, I felt compelled that this was, for some reason, my calling to be here, to be able to help as best I could and to fill in,” Rahal said Tuesday. “Clearly, this is Stef’s ride. It’s his seat. He’s done a great job to get it to the point that it is. It was an honor for me to receive the call, and I certainly am very grateful.”
First, my thoughts are with @stef_wilson. This isn’t how we wanted to get into the race and I’m honored that @DreyerReinbold and @CusickMSports have given me this opportunity. I can’t thank @hondaracing_hpd and @teamchevy enough for working together to allow this to happen.… pic.twitter.com/2EC8m4w5Zw
— Graham Rahal (@GrahamRahal) May 23, 2023
Prior to testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 500, Rahal said he was looking for more speed out of his father’s team before he made a decision on his future in the sport. On Sunday Rahal was the slowest car in last chance qualifying.
A six-time IndyCar winner, Rahal will be competing in his 16th Indianapolis 500. He has led 28 laps and scored two podiums in his career with an average finish of 17.8. Last season he finished 14th.