Skip to content

Rahal “surprised” that Dale Jr. responded to idea of ride swap

Mar 25, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT

Firestone 550 - Practice Getty Images

Verizon IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal certainly knows that a ride swap with fellow National Guard-backed driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. could potentially go down as a big event.

But as the driver of the No. 15 Honda-powered Dallara said this morning in an INDYCAR teleconference, he posed the idea to NASCAR’s most popular driver as simply a matter of having fun.

“I threw that out there as something I really wanted to do,” Rahal said. “I was surprised he responded…Media-wise, for sponsor exposure, it could be tremendous for them. But I also thought it’d be something fun to do.

“I know there’s been a lot of guys that have always expressed interest in jumping in an IndyCar. Obviously, Kurt Busch is going to do that here in the Month of May, but I know Jimmie Johnson and others [have shown interest] so I thought, ‘You know what, we have a tie here now, so let’s see.’”

Rahal and Earnhardt tweeted mutual interest in the idea on Sunday evening following the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, which Rahal attended in person. Since then, the idea has taken off among fans, tracks, and media alike.

In a media event today at Charlotte Motor Speedway that featured Earnhardt driving Elvis Presley’s 1973 Stutz Blackhawk III (the last car that the rock ‘n roll legend ever drove in public) into the track’s media center, his car owner, Rick Hendrick, seemed open to the idea – to a point:

However, Earnhardt himself raised the biggest possible hurdle: The fact that he, a Chevy driver and spokesman, would have to drive Rahal’s Honda.

That said, Kurt Busch is also a Chevy driver in the Sprint Cup Series, and yet he’ll be driving an Andretti Autosport Honda at Indianapolis as part of an attempt at “The Double” – running both the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in the same day.

Additionally, Hendrick brought up that the 2003 ride swap between his driver Gordon and then-F1 driver Montoya saw them use different manufacturers.

Granted, Hendrick appears to have misspoken, as Montoya’s F1 ride was a BMW-powered Williams. Still, the point stands – while manufacturers certainly have pride in their own drivers, they can see the big picture with events like this.

Latest Posts
  1. Kyle Larson, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan featured in Cottonelle ads (VIDEO)

    Jul 22, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    LarsonCottonelle Getty Images

    Kyle Larson’s got a new house, a new kid on the way and now a new Cottonelle ad he might not be able to live down.

  2. Report: Toto Wolff speaks out against F1′s double points finale

    Jul 22, 2014, 10:08 AM EDT

    Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Practice Getty Images

    Mercedes’ Toto Wolff calls double points “unfair.”

  3. IndyCar: Toronto weekend analysis, musings and observations

    Jul 22, 2014, 9:25 AM EDT

    TorontoAnalysis Getty Images

    MST’s Tony DiZinno recaps the weekend in Toronto, that featured a host of surprises.

  4. IndyCar: Gaps grow, but few major changes in points over last month

    Jul 22, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT

    TorontoLeadPts Getty Images

    The stretch of six races in four weekends is over, as is the stretch of doubleheader weekends for the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Here’s the points breakdown.

  5. Chase Elliott keeps winning, but he’s not finished capturing checkered flags this season by any stretch

    Jul 22, 2014, 1:38 AM EDT

    Chase Elliott after Saturday's win at Chicagoland Speedway. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) AP

    With the third win of his rookie Nationwide Series career, Chase Elliott continued to make it look easy in this past Saturday night’s EnjoyIllinois.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

  6. NASCAR: Bubba Wallace prepares for Eldora’s “Mudsummer Classic” (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 8:05 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) Getty Images

    For Wallace and his Truck Series rivals, racing on dirt presents a different set of challenges – and thus requires a different way to train.

  7. NASCAR’s Brian France on RTA’s formation: “We didn’t think it was necessary”

    Jul 21, 2014, 7:01 PM EDT

    Brian France AP

    In a satellite radio interview, France shared his thoughts on the consortium of NASCAR’s most powerful teams.

  8. IMSA: IndyCar rookie Hawksworth to make sports car debut in Brickyard GP

    Jul 21, 2014, 6:02 PM EDT

    Jack Hawksworth AP

    Jack Hawksworth will co-drive the No. 08 Prototype Challenge car for RSR Racing in Friday’s IMSA event on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

  9. Eldora and Indy putting a lot on Tony Stewart’s plate

    Jul 21, 2014, 5:10 PM EDT

    Will the 16th time be the charm for Tony Stewart in Sunday's Daytona 500? Getty Images

    Between his Eldora Speedway hosting the Truck Series and then competing at Indianapolis this weekend in Sprint Cup, Stewart’s in the middle of a busy week.

  10. Everything you need to know for Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indy

    Jul 21, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Juan Pablo Montoya AP

    All the notes and numbers to keep in mind for NASCAR’s visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  11. Hamlin best among NASCAR trio in American Century Champ. golf tourney (PHOTOS)

    Jul 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Pocono 400 - Practice Getty Images

    One last bit of fun for Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Michael Waltrip before the Sprint Cup Series returns to action at Indianapolis.

  12. Brickyard 400 ad promises “roundhouse of awesome, square in your facehole” (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

    Ryan Newman AP

    Indianapolis Motor Speedway delivers a bizarre take on the classic “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!” ads.

  13. Back to Bark River: TORC returns to Michigan’s U.P. (SPOILER)

    Jul 21, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    TORCLogo

    Writer’s Note: The following is a recap of this weekend’s TORC: The Off-Road Championship races from Bark River, Michigan. NBCSN will air the races on Sun., Aug. 3, at 1:30 p.m. ET. If you don’t want to know who won until then, we suggest you find another post to read here on MotorSportsTalk…

  14. IndyCar: Chevy captures doubleheader podium sweep in Toronto

    Jul 21, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    ChevyTOR Getty Images

    Chevrolet dominates the results sheet for IndyCar in Toronto.

  15. Pirelli World Challenge’s GT classes double up in Canada (SPOILER)

    Jul 21, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    WC

    Writer’s Note: The following is a recap of this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge races from the streets of Toronto. NBCSN will broadcast the Toronto races on Sunday, Aug. 10, at 1:30 p.m. ET. If you don’t want to know who won until then, we suggest you find another post to read here on MotorSportsTalk…

  16. IndyCar: Coyne, SFHR, RLL tire gambles come up snake eyes in Toronto

    Jul 21, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    WilsonTORlead Getty Images

    Quartet of Hondas could have stolen the second of the Honda Indy Toronto races if not for the final red flag.

  17. IndyCar: Penske pair edge ahead in points at end of Toronto weekend

    Jul 21, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    PenskeTOR AP

    Podiums and successful damage limitation pay dividends for Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves in Toronto.

  18. Conway: I had to be calm and seize my moment

    Jul 21, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    ConwayTOR3 AP

    Opportunistic Mike Conway and Ed Carpenter Racing delivered on their opportunity to succeed once again in Toronto.

  19. Bourdais conquers the seven-year road back to an IndyCar race win

    Jul 21, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    BourdaisTOR12 AP

    Sebastien Bourdais is back to winning form in the Verizon IndyCar Series – and that’s a good thing for him and the series.

  20. Button: I overreacted to Hamilton’s overtake

    Jul 21, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Germany - Qualifying Getty Images

    JB and Lewis went toe-to-toe in Germany, and although Button wasn’t pleased at first, he soon realised he overreacted.