NGAUS Washington Report
(Feb. 11, 2014) The Army National Guard car will be roaring around the track for a new team when the IndyCar season begins. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing landed the lucrative contract last week after surviving an appeal from Panther Racing which had held the sponsorship since 2008.
Graham Rahal, who will drive the No. 15 car, told the Associated Press, "I'm proud to be an American and I've always displayed it on my helmet and on my race shoes. So for me, there is more pride to be involved in this than anyone can know."
The ownership team includes David Letterman, the late-night talk show host.
The award was originally made last fall, but Panther appealed. The Government Accountability Office denied the appeal last month.
Panther Racing did much to raise the profile of the Guard at races, inviting soldiers to the races and displaying information about the force.
John Barnes, the Panther team owner, is a member of the Legion de Lafayette, an organization reserved for the largest donors to the National Guard Educational Foundation. He was honored recently at the Pentagon with the Spirit of Hope award for his support of the Guard, particularly for his efforts to help Guardsmen find jobs.