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graham rahal standing at iowa race way ready for his interview with ogio
What: In the Winners Circle Interview w/ Graham Rahal
Where: Carlsbad, CA
Long Description:

Born and raised in Ohio, Graham Rahal has raced in almost 200 races in his 12 seasons as a pro. Son of racing legend Bobby Rahal, Graham has had an equally impressive career as he carries on the legacy of the family name whilst still ushering in a new era of Rahal racing.

With this weekend’s upcoming race in his hometown of Ohio, where in 2015 he captured 1st place, we thought this would be a great time to take a dive into Graham’s life and what it takes to be a successful racer!

Where do you call home?

I live in Indianapolis which is really ideal for our sport. Spending as much time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as we do in May, as well as our sport being so Midwest-based in the summer months it just makes sense. However I do spend a bit of time in SoCal and in Lake Tahoe, both places that are ideal for my two biggest passions of cars and golf!

At what age did you start your pursuing your passion for IndyCar Racing?

I started racing when I was 10. I started in go-karts and slowly worked my way to the top. It was always my dream to race Indy cars and I feel very fortunate that it has all come together in the way it has. My dreams are to win more races, championships and of course the Indy 500.

What was your first biggest accomplishment/milestone in your career?

 My greatest achievement was winning my home race at Mid-Ohio. Being from Columbus, Ohio, the Mid-Ohio race is one that helped shaped my love for racing and in particular that track. Winning in 2015 was a dream come true, an accomplishment I will never forget and will always be at the top of my list.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I would say my dad and my wife. I always try my hardest to make them both happy and proud but also work my tail off to make sure I can always provide for my future family in the way my dad did for us. It’s my dream and hopefully someday we can accomplish that goal completely!

What do you do daily both mentally and physically to better prepare yourself for IndyCar Racing?

 Indy car racing is a huge test of mental and physical strength. For the physically side, I work out a lot, do lots of cardio training for the long, hot race events, and most importantly strength and core training so you can sustain the G-force loads. Most people don’t realize or understand, but in an IndyCar race like a hot, Mid-Ohio summer’s day, a driver can lose upwards of 5-8 lbs! That’s a ton! So physically it’s important to be in top shape. Mental preparation goes directly in line with that. Staying sharp in the heat of the moment, calm when needed and focused is the biggest challenge in all of racing. I take pride in where I stand in that respect and hope we can use it to our advantage as the years go on.

What is your goal setting process for achieving what you’ve set out to do?

I dream big, I push myself every day to try to be better than the day before. I understand that I probably will never fully accomplish all of my goals, because when I do accomplish one I always replace it with another. When you stop dreaming, you stop improving. I always have more on my mind!

We see you in races all the time but what would people be surprised to know or wouldn’t expect to hear is a critical part of your training regimen?

 It sounds funny, and I don’t play it enough, but one thing that really does help us in our sport is ping pong! Why? Because the hand eye coordination and speed when you play with a good player is so important. It takes quick reactions, precise movements and all of that good stuff, so it really is a great eye workout for us!

What goal are you currently working towards to take you to the next step in your career?

For this year we need to win more races.  We have been consistent but need to win immediately. As I look at 2019, we are a championship contender and we ought to be right up front with a chance to win the Indy 500. That is what I am focused on for right now. Long term the goal is to keep improving as a person, a team and be a powerhouse in our sport!

If you could give advice to someone just starting out in Indy racing, what would you tell them?

Understand that the dedication it takes to be successful in this sport is more than a full time job. Whether it be driving, finding sponsors, working with sponsors to make sure they get their return on investment, cultivating a great fan base or whatever else, it takes 100% commitment each and every day!

What is your OGIO bag of choice and why that bag?

 I couldn’t live without my OGIO Renegade Laptop backpack. As I travel almost every single day, it’s something I literally couldn’t live without. Having said that, my favorite is definitely my OGIO golf bags….I have a bunch of them! I am a diehard golfer and have too many sets of clubs to even count, and every one of them are in OGIO bags!



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