Bobby Rahal belongs to a very select group of individuals who have won the Indianapolis 500 both as a driver and as an owner/entrant. Victorious as a driver for Truesports in 1986, he also was co-entrant (with David Letterman) of Buddy Rice’s winning car in 2004. From 1982 through 1992, Rahal drove to 24 National Championship wins, landing Championship Auto Racing Teams’ seasonal title in 1986, 1987, and 1992. He is primarily thought of as a road racer, having won several Sports Car Club of America titles, competed in the Can– Am series and European Formula Two, and shared the winning car in the 24-Hours of Daytona (1981) and the 12-Hours of Sebring (1987).
Nevertheless, eight of his wins came on oval racetracks. His Indianapolis 500 victory was followed by a second place finish in 1990 and third place finishes in 1994 and 1995. An owner/entrant since 1992, Rahal was President and Chief Executive Officer of Championship Auto Racing Teams in 2000 and served briefly in 2001 as team principal for the Ford-backed Jaguar Formula One team. Rahal-Letterman gained considerable mainstream notoriety in 2005 when fourth-place-finishing rookie Danica Patrick became the first female to lead in an Indianapolis 500 race.
Courtesy of Indianapolis Motors Speedway Museum