Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing co-owner Bobby Rahal said Aug. 6 that the team will continue "to work hard to uphold the honor and integrity of the National Guard throughout the remainder of the season" after being informed earlier in the day that the National Guard will end its motorsports sponsorship programs.
The team is in its first Verizon IndyCar Series season of affiliation with the National Guard with a full-season entry for driver Graham Rahal. Panther Racing held the Guard sponsorship contract from 2008-2013. The Guard also underwrites the NASCAR program of Hendrick Motorsports.
The decisions follow an "intensive internal review," according to the announcement.
"Significantly constrained resources and the likelihood of further reductions in the future call for more innovative and cost-effective ways of doing business," Maj. Gen. Judd Lyons, acting director of the Army Guard, said in the announcement.
The Army Guard’s fiscal 2015 marketing budget is expected to be about half of what it was three years ago.
"This is obviously very disappointing news to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing given the significant incremental brand exposure we have worked to produce for the National Guard in our first season together, including various off-track marketing and advertising programs focused on supporting the mission set forth," Rahal said. "Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing would like to thank the National Guard for allowing us the privilege of representing some of the finest men and women, those 'citizen soldiers' that protect our freedoms and safety each and every day ... as we Focus Forward."