Testing Crash Costs Rahal Spot in Race

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) -- Graham Rahal, who badly damaged his car in a testing accident earlier this week, will miss Saturday's IRL IndyCar Series season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing team withdrew the entry for the 19-year-old Rahal on Thursday. The former Champ Car team will field a Dallara Honda for Justin Wilson in the GAINSCO Indy 300.

Teams making the transition from Champ Car to the newly unified open-wheel IndyCar Series have had little time to take delivery of their new cars to prepare for the opening race.

Rahal was among nine former Champ Car drivers who tested on the 1.5-mile Homestead oval earlier this week. He crashed hard during Tuesday's test and a team official said Newman/Haas/Lanigan was unable to overcome an ongoing shortage of parts in time for Friday's opening practice.

Rahal was not injured in the wreck.

Rahal's team now will focus on rebuilding the crashed car for a test at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday in preparation for next week's Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

"It's disappointing that we're not going to be racing in the season opener and I feel bad about it," said Rahal, the son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. "It will be tough not to be out there. But, at the same time, we need to take it slowly and not rush putting the car back together.

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