“I love spending time out on the lake,” Rahal said. “In fact, my uncle’s boat is docked right over there.”
Sure, Rahal may be rusty when it comes to Chicago geography, but luckily for Rahal he’s not about to be a downtown cabbie anytime soon.
Rahal does genuinely enjoy the area, but perhaps most importantly, he manages to put the pressure of an IndyCar driver in a language that most Chicagoans can understand these days--the Blackhawks.
“In racing you have a team, but a lot of the time it comes down to the driver,” Rahal said. “A driver is the easiest way to screw things up. There’s a lot of pressure. Let see, how would I put it? It’s not like the Blackhawks.
“By that I mean, if Kane makes a bad play or pass, or whatever, he has Toews and all those other guys to pick up the slack for him. It’s not like that in our sport. If you make a mistake, it’s on you.”
And Rahal has little room for error Sunday.
Rahal will run 26th in a field of 33.
But as Rahal is quick to point out, his best finish at Indy was paired with his worst starting position.
In 2011, Rahal qualified 29th. He led six laps and finished third.
Rahal isn’t worried about starting near the tail end of 11 rows of three cars as the green flag waives.
No, he’s focused on his lifelong dream--to win the Indy 500. It inches closer and closer with each passing minute.
And again, he tried to put the dream in Chicago-friendly terms.
“Some dream about being Michael Jordan and hitting that game-winning shot in Game 7 of the NBA Finals,” he said. “But for us–-the drivers–-it’s all about driving underneath that checkered flag on Sunday. It’d be pretty hard to explain. If it happens, I wouldn’t be able to say much. Words really couldn’t do it justice.”
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