Bobby Rahal

From Ohio History Central

Robert (Bobby) Woodward Rahal was born on January 10, 1953, in Medina, Ohio. He was one of the greatest automobile racers to participate in the CART series. He won three championships and twenty-four separate races. In 1986, Rahal won the Indianapolis 500. When he retired in from driving in 1998, Rahal ranked first in career starts, second in career earnings, and fourth in wins in CART history, which is now known as Champcars.

Upon retiring, Rahal focused his energies on his own race team, which he had formed while still a driver in 1992. In 1992, Rahal won the CART championship-the only owner-driver to accomplish this feat. The team is based in Hilliard, Ohio. Originally, Rahal co-owned the team with Carl Hogan, and the racing organization was named Rahal/Hogan Racing. Hogan shortly left the team, and the organization became known as Team Rahal. In May 2004, Team Rahal became Rahal Letterman Racing, in honor of talk show host David Letterman, who is a co-owner of the team. The organization originally participated in the CART (now Champcars) series, but it eventually joined the Indy Racing League.

As an owner, Rahal has amassed a series of accomplishments. Among the more prominent ones is an Indianapolis 500 victory in 2004, with Buddy Rice driving. In 2005, Danica Patrick, one of Rahal Letterman Racing's drivers, became the first woman to lead a lap at the Indianapolis 500.

In 2004, Rahal was inducted into the Motor Sports Hall of Fame. He also actively supports charities, especially those involving children. He established the Rahal-Kroger Columbus Charities Pro-Am, which has raised more than 1.75 million dollars for children's charities in Columbus, Ohio.

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