SKUSA/CSOT/NAKA/KART: Graham Rahal teams with Shift Kart

SKUSA/CSOT/NAKA/KART: Graham Rahal teams with Shift Kart

Post by pr.. » Fri, 22 Feb 2002 07:03:26

Rahal Teams With Shift Kart, Birel And
Moosespeed For 2002

(Mount Lake Terrace, WA) - Shift Kart head Paul Zalud announced today that
Graham Rahal, will campaivgn the 2002 season on a Birel chassis under the
Shift Kart banner.  "We are very e***d to have Graham running for us this
season.  He is an enormously talented young drive with an endless amount of
potential.  We're looking forward to working with him this season to help
develop that talent."  Paired with Rahal is top-rated tuner Sean Mossgrove,
working out of his Moosespeed shop in the Columbus, Oh area.  

The association is showing early signs of success as Rahal has shown solid
progress in the two Florida Winter Tour events.  At Homestead, Rahal
qualified off-pole and had a heat win on his way to a second place finish in
the feature.  Last weekend's Ocala race saw Rahal taking the pole and
carding his first SKUSA victory over a strong field of young racers.

Rahal, the 13 year-old son of Indy 500 Champion and 3 time CART Champion
Bobby Rahal, will run a schedule set to include both divisions of the SKUSA
ProMoto Tour aboard a Birel/Honda CR-80 and the NAKA/Stars of Tomorrow
program driving a Birel/RotaxMax.  "When my Dad and I talked about racing
this season, we knew we needed to get involved with people who have been
around the series," said the younger Rahal.   "When I first me Sean, I
really liked him.  He's a cool guy and I know I can learn a lot by working
with him."

Zalud has a proven record as an early spotter of young talent.  Past drivers
for Shift Kart include 2001 SKUSA Champion Scott Speed along with Team USA
driver AJ Allmendinger and emerging star Alex Speed.  "Any time you get a
chance to work with someone like Graham Rahal, you jump on it," Zalud said.
"He has all the ingredients he needs to be a great race driver, it's a
matter of combining those ingredients and helping him reach his potential."

The elder Rahal is equally enthused, "I realized we needed to work with
people who really had the ability to work with a young driver.  Having
spoken to several people familiar with Paul and Sean, they quickly came to
the top of the list."

For Mossgrove, this represents the first project for his newly formed
"Moosespeed Racing."  Long known for his meticulous preparation of race
karts, Mossgrove offers pro-level kart prep to club and regional level
racers.  "The 'Ultra Tuned by Moose' is my guarantee that your kart was
professionally prepared," said Mossgrove.  "The same attention to deal goes
into every kart I build.  I will not allow a kart out of the shop until it's
100% ready for the ProMoto Tour, even if that kart will never race on the
Tour."  Mossgrove has established relationships with several importers and
offers his expert preparation for a number of chassis along with track-side

Shift Kart is the newest Birel importer in North America.  Zalud believes
that on-track results and superior track-side support are the key to
building solid customer programs.  "We're the new guys coming into the
market with Birel," said Zalud.  "There is no getting around the need for
track-side support.  You can't get around the need to have quality young
driver professional-quality drivers representing your company."

The Rahal race effort for 2002 also has support from Rainier Construction,
Sparco, Bell Helmets, the Bobby Rahal Automotive Group and Bridgestone.


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