Graham Rahal will compete full time in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the next two seasons. However, the team he will be racing with remains undisclosed.
TBC Retail Group announced Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway that it has signed a multi-year sponsorship and spokesperson association with the 21-year-old driver to represent its family of tire and automotive retail brands (Service Central, Tire Kingdom, National Tire and Battery, Merchant's Tire and Auto Centers and Big O Tires). The association includes primary sponsorship of a car for the next two seasons. As for which team driver and sponsor will align with, Bob Crostarosa, TBC Retail Group senior vice president of marketing and advertising, said both parties have been shopping. It's important, he noted, to align with a team that could provide Rahal an opportunity "to run up front."
Speculation has linked Rahal to a Panther Racing seat for 2011, a possible third Ganassi entry, or a full-time return for Rahal Letterman.
“I am thrilled that TBC Retail Group has chosen to enter into this marketing partnership with me,” said Rahal, who has competed in 12 of the 17 IndyCar races this season with four different teams. “This is a great statement about IndyCar racing and hopefully the fans are excited about it. I am extremely proud to represent Service Central on the track and to serve as a spokesman for the company's brands in the years to come.”
Rahal is the youngest winner and pole sitter of an IZOD IndyCar Series race (accomplished in succeeding years at St. Petersburg). He has 19 top-10 finishes in 44 starts.
“In addition to being an aggressive driver, Graham has proven to be an excellent ambassador of our family of stores,” Crostarosa said. “Not everyone can have a personal pit crew, but with over 1,300 locations and a nationwide warranty, motorists can count on the expertise of the Service Central team.”