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Graham Rahal to receive sportsmanship award

Mar 30, 2013, 1:13 PM EDT

Graham Rahal AP

For successfully handling one of the tougher moments in his IZOD IndyCar Series career, Graham Rahal will receive the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award on Apr. 11 at the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala.

Rahal was running up front with two laps remaining in last June’s Firestone 550 at TMS when handling issues on his No. 38 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda finally caused him to brush the wall coming out of Turn 4. Justin Wilson eventually chased down Rahal on the backstretch and went on to win for the first time in his career on an oval.

Had Rahal won, it would have been his first victory since his 2008 triumph in St. Petersburg, which was his first start ever in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Afterwards, however, Rahal stayed professional.

“It always will be one that got away from me until I win my next one,” said Rahal, who now runs with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. “Then I won’t think about it. There are a lot of cases where I look back and it’s frustrating that you didn’t get to see it through. This is certainly one of them.

“It would have been nice to win and get rid of all the questions of when I’ll win again, and all that sort of thing. But I think it adds fuel to the fire to come back here and do a good job this year.”

Rahal soldiered on to finish second at TMS, which was his best finish of the 2012 season. He left Ganassi to join RLL last November in a multi-year agreement.

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