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Rahal keeps focus at Texas Motor Speedway

Sat., June 8, 2013

That near-miss in Texas has certainly crossed Graham Rahal’s mind in the past year.

Probably much more than he will admit.

Rahal is back at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where last June he was out in front and seemingly on his way to finally winning again when he drifted too high and brushed the wall coming out of the fourth turn with two laps left. He finished second.

“My focus always quickly turns to the next event,” Rahal said. “You have to focus on what’s coming up, not what’s behind you, and so I’ve done that.”

Rahal is now driving for his father, Bobby, the three-time open wheel champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner.

Graham Rahal is in his first full season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. It comes in the sixth IndyCar Series season for the youngster – he’s still only 24 – who had stints with Chip Ganassi and Newman-Haas. The Rahals’ plan all along was to let Graham have a chance to rise through the ranks on his own before working together.

“There’s no question that driving for all those other guys will help me moving forward,” Rahal said. “We always felt that I need to go out, build a reputation, build a name for myself and then someday I could come back to him, and we could work together. … We’re very fortunate the plan has kind of worked out the way that it has.”

Penske driver Will Power, winless since three victories in a row early last year, is on the pole for tonight’s race after a four-lap qualifying average of 219.298 mph. Marco Andretti qualified second at 218.222 mph.

Burton holds on for first Truck win

Jeb Burton got his first career NASCAR Truck Series victory, holding off a hard-charging Ty Dillon to win at Texas Motor Speedway.

The 20-year-old Burton, the son of 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward and nephew of current Sprint Cup driver Jeff, led the final 24 laps. He took the lead on the first lap after the final restart by passing Dillon.

It was the 12th career start for Burton.

Rain dampens day at Pocono

Rain washed out Sprint Cup qualifying at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

Points leader Jimmie Johnson will automatically sit on the pole for the start of Sunday’s 400-mile race.

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