From Mike Harris of the Associated Press.
Rahal Letterman Racing has pulled out of the 2009 IndyCar Series because it cannot find a sponsor to support its program.This is about as surprising as noticing that the sun rose in the East, as RLR like many other teams has been continuing operations largely from sponsorship packages brought by drivers. Who knows how they would have managed the last few years without Danica Patrick, Paul Dana, and Scott Sharp.
RLR becomes the latest racing team to be affected by the reeling economy. The team won the Indianapolis 500 with Buddy Rice in 2004 and brought Danica Patrick to the IndyCar Series.
"At this time Rahal Letterman will not be in the IRL in 2009," team co-owner Bobby Rahal told The Associated Press in an e-mail Thursday.
Three years ago this organization was highlighted by a three-car IndyCar team. Now? Well, now they manage the Formula BMW series.
Let's recall a happier time in RLR's history. (Note: It's over 50 minutes long.)
UPDATE: Via a press release, Bobby Rahal would like to clarify something.
“As I said in the quote from the story, as of this time we do not have any sponsorship that will allow us to compete in the IRL in 2009, but by no means does that mean that we are giving up. We are continuing to search for sponsorship to run the 2009 season and to run in the Indianapolis 500 and we feel that there is still time for us to put something together that will allow that to happen.”
Which means, if you have some sponsorship they're definitely interested in helping you achieve your dream of being an IndyCar driver. Act now and you'll also receive a complimentary appearance on "The Late Show". Operators are standing by.