IndyCar Driver Turns Laps at Bristol Motor Speedway
Accustomed to pedaling the open-wheel, open-cockpit machines of IndyCar at a variety of speedways, the Series' youngest winner, Graham Rahal, took the reins of a Mustang this morning to test his skills on the legendary banks of Bristol Motor Speedway.
"What makes racing around this place so cool is the atmosphere," said the IndyCar driver of the No. 15 National Guard machine. "Bruton [Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc.] always does a great job with his facilities. I've been to a bunch of drag races now, and this is the nicest place I've seen.
"Then to come here and see this - there's no wonder it's one of everybody's favorites. It's simply the atmosphere. I can't imagine what this place would be like for a Cup race, let alone the football game coming up. It'd be incredible. There's not a bad seat in the house."
However, the seat Rahal would most like to have inside the World's Fastest Half Mile is at the helm of an IndyCar.
"It'd be fun to get an IndyCar out here and give it a shot," he said. "I mean we'd be dizzier than can be, but it'd be kinda fun. With the downforce levels and horsepower they can adjust with turbos and everything else. They could make this really entertaining and quite an interesting race."
The 25 year old has explored the possibility of swapping rides with his National Guard NASCAR counterpart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., an idea that has taken on new life since this morning's laps around the concrete oval.
"Junior and I talked about it last year," said Rahal. "I wasn't with the National Guard at the time, but now I am. Maybe it makes some sense for us to do something like that. If the opportunity ever came up, trust me, I'd jump all over it simply because I'm a racer. I wanna drive anything that I possibly can and be part of any race at any venue. I can tell you this would be right at the top my list after being here and seeing this. It's very, very cool."