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RLL snags engineer Pappas for Graham Rahal

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (AP) - IndyCar veteran race engineer Bill Pappas will team with Graham Rahal next season at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

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Pappas leaves Justin Wilson after two seasons at Dale Coyne Racing. Wilson was on pace to finish an IndyCar-best fourth in the standings, but was injured in the finale at Fontana. Wilson finished sixth - his best result in IndyCar and Coyne's best finish as an owner.

Pappas moves to Rahal, who finished a disappointing 18th in his first season driving for his father.

''I'm very honored to be offered an opportunity to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan, working for Bobby and helping Graham reach his potential,'' Pappas said.

Pappas started with Roush Racing before Roush started in NASCAR. He then focused on open-wheel racing and worked for Chip Ganassi Racing, Walker Racing, Panther Racing, KV Racing and Coyne in a career that spans 25 years.

Pappas also did one season in NASCAR with Michael Waltrip Racing.

At Ganassi, Pappas won the Indianapolis 500 with Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000. He was engineer for Tony Stewart's Indy 500 program in 2001 when Stewart finished sixth.

''I'm excited that Bill is joining the team,'' Rahal said. ''He brings not only a wealth of experience, and Indy 500 wins as well as others, he can really help take our team and engineering staff to the next level. I've known Bill a long time. We have had opportunities to work together before but it just didn't fall into place until now.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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