Graham Rahal returns to the Indy 500 grid, replaces Stefan Wilson in the No. 24 entry

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Graham Rahal was bumped from the event with the No. 15 but comes back to the 500 less than two days later.

Photo credit: Penske Entertainment | Matt Fraver

At a press conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dennis Reinbold, owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, announced that Graham Rahal will be Stefan Wilson’s substitute for the No. 24 Cusick Motorsport car.Wilson was declared unfit to race after his accident with fellow Brit Katherine Legge at Monday’s Practice session, as he fractured his 12th thoracic vertebrae.Rahal’s partners, United Rentals and Fifth Third Bank, will be on the No. 24. He said in a press release by DRR:“I’ll admit it was a very tough weekend for me and the United Rentals/Fifth Third Bank/RLL team. We tried everything, and we just didn’t have the speed. I’m very sad that Stefan was injured in practice on Monday. I wish him a quick recovery. “I want to thank Dennis and Don for giving me this opportunity in the No. 24 car. I’m anxious to work with the team and prepare for the greatest race in the world, the Indianapolis 500.”

Graham’s father and RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal added the following:“I have to say this came out of the blue. I’ve known Dennis for years personally. I have always liked and respected him as a fellow racer and also a car dealer. When Dennis called, we went to work to make this happen. The most amazing thing is how all these different groups, out of respect for the sport and the Indy 500, agreed to agree and go forward even though it may have been somewhat of a difficult decision. The fact that everyone pulled together to make this happen for Dennis, and also for Graham, makes us very thankful. I am also thankful that Dennis asked Graham to join him and his team and appreciate the commitment and excitement from Mike, Dave, United Rentals and Fifth Third Bank to see this happen. We wish them the best in the race.”Dennis Reinbold declared:“We are very sad that Stefan was injured Monday and now is unable to compete this Sunday in the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports/CareKeepers Chevrolet. Stefan put so much effort into this race that it is just heartbreaking for this to have happened.

“However, we are announcing that Graham Rahal will now drive the No. 24 car this Sunday. We have known Graham for over a decade as he drove our car in 2010 at Iowa Speedway. He suffered through a tough weekend here, but we believe Graham can perform very well this Sunday.

“And I want to thank Bobby Rahal and his entire Rahal Letterman Lanigan team for granting us the opportunity to have Graham join us this week. We also want to thank everyone in the IndyCar Series garage area for offering their assistance after Stefan’s unfortunate incident on Monday. So many people came to us and asked if we needed anything yesterday. It shows the camaraderie within the NTT IndyCar Series. We are anxious to get Graham on the track now in the No. 24 machine.”

Don Cusick, Founder & CEO of Cusick Motorsports, said:

“First and foremost, the only thing that matters is that Stefan is doing well considering the circumstances. We are completely gutted for Stefan and now will miss his favorite racing event, the legendary Indy 500. We wouldn’t be here without him, and we are committed to supporting him every step on the way to recovery and beyond. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and our partners have been nothing but supportive and I couldn’t be more thankful. “I am happy that we could fill the seat of the No. 24 DRR/Cusick Motorsports/CareKeepers Chevy with a quality replacement in Graham Rahal. Graham knows the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval very well and we wish him the best this Sunday in the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”