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Graham Rahal to step into No. 24 Chevy for injured Stefan Wilson in Indy 500

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Posted at 10:04 AM, May 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-28 06:12:32-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It has been a whirlwind few days for a handful of drivers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but likely none more than Graham Rahal.

On Sunday, the veteran of 15 Indianapolis 500-mile races failed to qualify for the race for the team co-owned by his father.

On Monday, he witnessed teammate Katherine Legge crash with Stefan Wilson during practice.

On Tuesday, he was announced at the replacement for Wilson, who suffered a fractured vertebrae in the crash on Monday.

“I’ll admit it was a very tough weekend for me and the United Rentals/Fifth Third Bank/RLL team,” Rahal said. “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 (DRR owner Dennis Reinbold) and Don (Cusick Motorsports owner Don Cusick) 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.”

Wilson was injured Monday in Indy 500 practice when his IndyCar was struck from behind by Legge’s machine and forced into the outside safer barrier in turn one at the famed 2.5-mile oval.

In the incident, Wilson suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebrae. The British native qualified for Sunday’s 200-lap event in the 25th position with a four-lap average speed of 231.648 miles per hour.

Rahal ran for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing once in 2010 and finished ninth at Iowa Speedway. He has three top 10 finishes in his Indy 500 career.

Rahal will start 33rd on Sunday.