NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Graham Rahal bit into a beignet, sipped on a frozen cafe-au-lait and explained why he and fellow IndyCar drivers are eager to bring their series to the Big Easy.
"Everybody's thrilled by this," Rahal said Tuesday. "New Orleans is a place that everybody thinks of as fun — a destination — so for us to hit this market is great.
"We always as drivers like going to new places and being part of new events and exciting opportunities — and this is one of them."
Rahal, the son of former racing star and current IndyCar team owner Bobby Rahal, is set to race in the Indy 500 this Sunday. On Tuesday, he took part in a quick visit to New Orleans to promote this weekend's race as well as the 2015 Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park.
After a brief stop in the French Quarter, he toured the track, but refrained from driving a lap himself because of the major race weekend approaching.
He viewed planned changes to the track layout — which include changing part of an s-curve into a longer straight away, as well as the sharpening of some turns — and predicted that the venue would foster compelling racing.
"It's going to be a blast," Rahal said. "That's what we look for in most places is long straights with hard breaking zones. And I think that's exactly what we're going to have."
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