Graham Rahal is lobbying for the ride swap that he proposed March 23 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. to drive the No. 15 National Guard car on an oval TBD and Rahal to get behind the wheel of Earnhardt’s National Guard-sponsored stock car – to come to fruition.
“It’s something I really wanted to do,” Rahal said. “Of course, I felt with the National Guard that it could potentially happen. Media-wise, for sponsor exposure, I think it would be tremendous for them. But I also thought it would be something that would be fun to do.
“We have a tie here now. Let’s see getting Earnhardt and a Rahal, I think the last time those two names were on the same track were the IROC days with my dad.”
Bobby Rahal and Rick Hendrick, owner of the team for which Earnhardt drives, are longtime friends. Hendrick has said he’s OK with Earnhardt taking the IndyCar out for a spin.
As for a potential stumbling block of engine manufacturer cross-pollination, that could easily be rectified by Honda Performance Development president Art St. Cyr and Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. There’s precedence: Kurt Busch, a Chevy driver in NASCAR, will drive an Andretti Autosport-prepared Honda-powered car in the Indianapolis 500 in May. Additionally, Jeff Gordon drove Juan Pablo Montoya Formula One car and Tony Stewart swapped cars with F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
“Hopefully we can get some power behind this and make it happen,” Rahal said.