Graham Rahal scores first podium for family team at Grand Prix of Long Beach

Jonathan Ferrey

Graham Rahal jumped from Ganassi Racing to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing during the off-season. It took three races but combination finally hit its stride at Long Beach with a second-place on Sunday.

Graham Rahal said he had more fun during Sunday's Grand Prix of Long Beach than he has the entire season thus far.

That's not hard to believe considering he spent the previous two races well out of contention only to score an impressive runner-up during Saturday's race.

Things are always a little more enjoyable for a driver when he is running near the front and Rahal believes this is what observers can expect now that he's reunited with his dad's Rahal Letterman race team - even if he couldn't break the curse of his family's second-place best finish at Long Beach.

"You know, I think today was just great because it finally came together," Rahal said. "I mean, we all felt that we had the speed. You look back at St. Pete, I felt like that could have been a similar result to today, we just couldn't see it through unfortunately.

Without a doubt, it feels phenomenal to be up here. It feels great to be on the podium at Long Beach. Obviously like to win here. I think dad and I, five times a Rahal has finished second. One of these days we're going to win one."

Rahal left Ganassi Racing at the end of last season and did so primarily out of the concern that he and Charlie Kimball were not receiving the same level of support as their Target Ganassi teammates, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon.

After negotiating with several teams over the winter, Rahal decided that now was the time to professionally reunite with his father after the duo had chased the Indianapolis 500 together in 2010. Ultimately, both Rahals believe they can contend for victories and the season championship.

Long Beach was the first sign of that chemistry.

"Look I left Ganassi Racing and I left there for a reason," Rahal said. "I felt like this team can be as good and competitive as any. We're just starting. This weekend was a huge weekend for us and I think it shows the strength that we have...I think there is nothing but upside for us a team."

With Marco Andretti also establishing momentum in 2013, it's ultimately a positive for the sport to have both traditional IndyCar families challenging for victories. That's an upside for the continued resurgence of the sport.

More from SB Nation IndyCar:

Takuma Sato captures Grand Prix of Long Beach to become first Japanese IndyCar winner

Justin Wilson third after starting in the back at Long Beach

Helio Castroneves escapes crash-filled Long Beach with points lead

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