From the earliest days of his gilt-edged career in motorsports, Bobby Rahal has been known as a thinking man’s racing driver for the cerebral approach that he brought to his craft, whether in terms of selecting a car, setting it up properly or planning the way he intended to attack the race course. His intellect and discipline in racing won Rahal scores of major contests on road courses, but his career was capped by a storybook victory in the 1986 Indianapolis 500 as his car owner Jim Trueman, who died days later from cancer, looked on in admiration.
Rahal’s time behind the wheel spanned literally everything from small-bore sports cars to the shrieking turbocharged rockets of CART. After his driving days ended, Rahal was briefly a CART president and served time as head of the short-lived Jaguar Formula 1 team. He co-owns Indy car, IMSA and Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy teams, a string of automobile dealerships near Columbus, Ohio, and now shepherds the driving career of his talented son, Graham, focusing on Indy cars. Bobby Rahal is one of the really good ones, and his accomplishments have been recognized by his receipt of the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports. The award is named for the famed early pioneer of American road racing, especially at Watkins Glen, New York, and was presented to Rahal at a star-studded dinner held at the Corning Museum of Glass in nearby Corning, New York.
The award is sponsored by the International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen; on the left, J.C. Argetsinger makes the presentation of the cut-glass bowl to Rahal. He is the sixth recipient of the award. Previous honorees include0 Chip Ganassi, Richard Petty, Roger Penske, Mario Andretti, IMSA chief Jim France and the rest of the extended France family that founded and operate NASCAR.