Graham tells us how he really feels

Posted by Iannucci | 7/12/2009 | 11 comments »
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Typical post-race press releases feature driver quotes so sanitized I swear team representatives simply utilize some piece of software called "Wooden Quote Generator: Millenium Edition". I mean, a driver could have one of his competitors pull alongside and throw a live cobra into his cockpit, causing him to crash into the nearest SAFER barrier and the official quote would be something like "The (sponsor name) boys gave me a great car today but unfortunately we ran into some unforeseen difficulties. It's frustrating because (current event) is such a great race, but we feel we made progress this week and look forward to the next event at (next event)."

But not Graham Rahal, or at least is team representative, who does the unthinkable: he names names. Call it brutal honesty, call it whining, or call it political incorrectness. Whatever your view, there is no denying this is a far more interesting post-race quote issued by the Newman/Haas/Lanigan team.

“It was a frustrating day for the McDonald’s boys. Right from the start the race was bad because (Will) Power didn’t try to stay in his lane on the start. It’s as easy at that; you’re supposed to be two wide and he wasn’t. He came straight across and just took off my front wing. So right away we were fighting an uphill battle and those are the worst races because it’s so frustrating when you know you’re out of the game at the start. After coming in for the wing change I just tried to recover. We had pretty good lap times but I just couldn’t hang in there being behind Danica. She would brake so early and I was bad at judging where she was going to hit the brakes because it was inconsistent, but always early and I ended up flat-spotting my tires. I tried to recover from that as well and then tried to pass Ed. Danica dove in (ahead of Ed) and Ed stayed wide so I dove underneath him and got mid-corner and he turned in while I was there. I tried to back out but I was pinched. That was it for us. I’m not going to blame him though because I should have known that’s what he would do. The whole idea today was to get some points and close on fifth place but now (fifth place) Danica gained a lot of points and moved further away.”
Graham wasn't exactly "out of the game at the start" because two other drivers forced to pit in the opening laps (Will Power and Ryan Briscoe) ended up on the podium, but don't let that get in the way of this thoroughly appreciated diatribe.

Photo: TrackSide Online


  1. Anonymous // July 13, 2009 4:35 AM  

    Go bleed in a lake, you whiner!

  2. Anonymous // July 13, 2009 4:43 AM  

    Standard Operational Comment, Michael Andretti edition:

    I don't know... it's just a shame(tm), you know... Paul Tracy threw a live Cobra in my car. I don't know what he thinks he's doing. He's going to get somebody killed out there(tm). It's really just a shame(tm).

  3. Anonymous // July 13, 2009 5:59 AM  

    You will notice on this quote that "Golden Graham" dosen't own up to making any mistakes of his own - it is always someone else's fault. Last time it was his teammate who ruined his race.
    I fail to see the difference between his comments and those that get Marco Andretti labeled a "whiner".

  4. The American Mutt // July 13, 2009 6:47 AM  


    I fail to see why three fourths of the field doesn't get labeled a whiner when Andretti does. I've seen Dixon whine about other drivers from the winners circle. It's a large part of the reason I don't like him. He's a passive aggressive whiner.

  5. Oilpressure // July 13, 2009 7:16 AM  

    Little Rahal is a good marketing spokesperson for potential buyers of the Happy Meal.

  6. Damon // July 13, 2009 7:18 AM  


    This isn't about Dixon or anybody else out there, this is about Graham.

    Will Power and Ryan Briscoe were both in lap 1 incidents too and also stuck back in traffic during the race like Graham, but they kept their cool, drove the car and didn't tear it up trying to pass a slower lapped car like Graham did, nor did either guy complain about it after the race like Graham did.

    It's Danica breaking too early, it's Will running into him, it's Ed being to slow and's everybody but the whiner in the car, that's the problem here.

  7. The American Mutt // July 13, 2009 9:39 AM  


    It isn't about Graham. Well, it is, but my point was broader. I'm just simply wondering why certain people get labeled a whiner after a bad day, but others don't when they're just as bad about it. "I couldn't pass" "My car wasn't set up to handle traffic" "They were blocking" blah blah blah. I've heard most of them say these things (and wonder if you can't handle being in traffic wtf are you doing racing)

    Yeah Graham shouldn't be whining about shit that every other driver puts up with. Not arguing that point. Arguing why he's a whiner but no one else is.

  8. The American Mutt // July 13, 2009 9:41 AM  

    Oh, and btw, for once Dixon put out a great drive. Probably wouldn't have gotten higher than fifth without that Tracy Castroneves, but if he'd put on a show every weekend like he did yesterday I'd bitch about him less. That pass on Wilson was awesome and one of the ballsiest things I've ever seen done in an indycar. Rip the fuel knob out and make them all do that.

    Am I alone in thinking that Tracy Tagliani battle is what Indycar is about on a street/road race? That was amazing--it's a shame ABC kept cutting away from it.

  9. Damon // July 13, 2009 9:50 AM  


    Graham is taking heat now because this has been his MO these last 2 years.

    He has a bad day, he has to blame somebody and more often than not it just comes across as a "I'm better than you, don't you know who I am" bout of snob-itis, just like Marco.

  10. Anonymous // July 13, 2009 4:39 PM  

    This is awesome! There was a lot of bitching yesterday and it is so much better when its about other racers instead of the fact that there is no passing (maybe the drivers would bitch about ABC's coverage if they watched the race on TV, too.). Graham's whining about matches equally Moraes obliviousness.

  11. Sarah Fan // July 13, 2009 5:09 PM  

    IMHO, everyone's allowed to moan and whine about something. Just not every single race. I'd like to propose a 2-race whine limit. Anyone who wants to whine about anything has a maximum two consecutive races to do it. The next whine results in an automatic back-of-the-grid penalty at the next race. That might cut some it. Except from Graham and Marco probably - they'd whine about being stuck at the back....