The Marty Smith Podcast: Graham Rahal Shares What It’s Like to Be Drag Racing Icon John Force’s Son-in-Law

by Chris Haney

One of America’s most famous races returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. The 2022 Indy 500 is set for Sunday afternoon at the Brickyard, and The Marty Smith Podcast had the perfect guest to get you geared up for the big race. IndyCar driver Graham Rahal joined the show this week to talk about his career and the upcoming Indianapolis 500. One of the highlights of his chat though came when the co-hosts amusingly grilled Rahal on what it’s like to be married to another iconic racer’s daughter.

Rahal is no stranger to the Indy 500 and racing in general. He grew up around the IndyCar circuit as the son of famous driver Bobby Rahal. His father is a three-time champion and the winner of the 1986 Indy 500. Unsurprisingly, Graham followed in his father’s footsteps when he started racing at a very early age. At 18 years old, Graham made his IndyCar debut as the second-youngest driver ever in the sport. While racing is definitely in Graham Rahal’s blood, his ties to the sport extend even past his immediate family.

In 2015, Rahal tied the knot to his wife of seven years, Courtney Force. If her last name sounds familiar, it’s because it should if you’re a race fan. Courtney’s father is legendary 16-time NHRA driver John Force who is arguably the greatest drag racer of all-time. Graham’s father-in-law is full of energy even at 73 years old, which The Marty Smith Podcast co-hosts found out for themselves when he joined the show two weeks ago. They knew Rahal must have some stories about Force, and he didn’t disappoint.

Graham Rahal Confirms John Force Is As Fiery As Expected

John Force joined the podcast recently and brought with him his patented fiery personality. It’s just part of who he is and there’s no tempering the drag racer’s high-energy demeanor.

“What is Thanksgiving dinner like with John Force?” Marty Smith asked Graham Rahal with a laugh.

“Well,” Rahal said with a long pause that drew even bigger laughs from our co-hosts. “I don’t know how to, uh… what you see is what you get. Everybody always says to me, ‘Man, is that guy always like that? There’s no way he’s like that allll the time.’ I’m like, ‘Well, I hate to break it to you, but it’s probably worse.'”

“What a lunatic, dude,” Smith joked of Force. “How did you call that man and tell him, ‘Hey, bro, look. You’re a legend, but I’m in love with your daughter. I want to marry… how the hell does that conversation go?”

“Well, I told him, or I asked him I should say, the day that we left on vacation that I was planning to ask her. Because I knew that he would tell her,” Rahal hilariously said on The Marty Smith Podcast.

“That guy’s not keeping any secrets,” co-host Wes Blankenship amusingly added.

“Terrible. The worst. Because he can’t help but talk,” Rahal agreed as the laughs continued. “And my mother-in-law agreed, Lori, was like, ‘Don’t, don’t. Just tell him like right before [so he can’t ruin the surprise]. We went to breakfast and then [we] went like two hours later to the airport to leave. I knew that that would make it hard for him to get it out in time. But oh yeah, I’ve got stories. I don’t know if they’re for on-air, but I’ve got plenty of stories that I could tell.”

The guys talk about that and much more with Graham on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out their entire conversation below, or listen to the full interview on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.