Fathers do not always know best at Indy 500

Sat May 23, 2015 9:53pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - At the Indianapolis 500 it is not always a case of father knows best, not even when those fathers are two American motorsports greats.

Graham Rahal, the son of 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, and Macro Andretti, whose father Michael won 42 Indycar races, both work in the family businesses and will be on the starting grid Sunday at the Brickyard.

Now retired and operating successful IndyCar teams - Andretti Autosport and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing - Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal, like many parents, have at times had issues communicating with their kids.

Delivering fatherly advice through a headset while their sons speed around an oval at over 225 mph has not always been welcomed, the messages sometimes conveyed in a forceful not so subtle fashion.

This year Bobby Rahal has stepped back from pit wall and allowed other team members to talk strategy with Graham while Marco and Michael are once again in communication, ending nearly three years of radio silence.

"I like hearing him (Michael), he has a driver mentality," said Marco. "But the way we were was affecting other people, we were just very intense.

"I drive way up on the wheel, my heart on my sleeve. We told the guys in the crew you need to smile when you hear us. They thought we would be in a fist fight after the race but we where just fine.

"I use to listen to my dad on the radio when I was a kid and thought he was nuts.   Continued...

May 17, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal poses for a photo with his father and car owner Bobby Rahal after qualifying for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports