Graham Rahal is poised to be reunited with the Newman/Haas/Lanigan team from the Long Beach round of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
The 21-year-old, second-generation star rejoins the championship this weekend in St. Petersburg in Sarah Fisher Racing's car, but Rahal is believed to have secured sponsorship that will likely put him back with former employer Newman/Haas/Lanigan for the rest of the season, starting in Long Beach next month.
Rahal acknowledged on his exclusive column for RACER.com yesterday that, "I will say that I could have a full-time ride from Long Beach onward. However, nothing's firmed up yet so I don't want to even talk about the possibilities."
Brian Lisles, the team manager at NHLR, said he did not know of any details but would welcome the chance to run Rahal again. The American drove for the team from 2007-'09, but was dropped at the end of the year when NHLR lost its McDonald's sponsorship.
"We would like to be a two-car team but I don't know if anything has been done," said Lisles.
After a solid sophomore season in IndyCar in 2009, where he scored a pair of podiums, two pole positions and qualified in the fast six at all but one of the seven road or street courses, Rahal found himself without a ride a few months ago when NHLR lost sponsor McDonald's. He has subsequently been hunting for new sponsorship to get back into the series, and was approached by SFR for the St. Petersburg and Barber Motorsports Park races as a stopgap in the interim.
"A lot of good things have happened lately," Rahal told SPEEDtv.com's Robin Miller. "First the deal with Sarah and now some more good news."
Rahal, who worked with engineer Martin Pare in '09, will team with Hideki Mutoh at Newman/Haas/Lanigan.