Jack Harvey bumps Graham Rahal from Indy 500 in last-chance qualifying, hands family fresh heartbreak

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Graham Rahal, Indy 500
(Getty Images)

Father's Day is still a few weeks from now, but Bobby and Graham Rahal had a "like father, like son" moment at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. 

It was 30 years ago that the Bobby Rahal was bumped from the Indy 500 thanks to last-second qualifying heroics by Eddie Cheever. On Sunday, Graham suffered his own driving heartbreak. 

MORE: Indy 500 qualifying results: Pole winner, full starting grid for 2023 race at Indianapolis

May 24, 1993; meet May 21, 2023. 

The stage was set for Graham Rahal to earn the last spot in the 2023 field in last-chance qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Four drivers — Christian Lundgaard, Sting Ray Robb, Jack Harvey and Rahal — were competing for three spots. Rahal was in one of the three with an average speed of 229.159 mph. 

Harvey was on the outside looking in. Two-tenths of an mph was the difference heading into his last attempt. Seven one-thousandths (229.166 to 229.159 mph) ended up being Harvey's margin of victory. 

Graham Rahal didn't get a chance to respond as the qualifying clock expired. In Indy 500 qualifying, cars can make unlimited qualifying attempts while the clock is running, but previous times are erased once the car hits the track again, which is likely why Lundgaard, Robb and Rahal decided to stay on pit road after their runs. 

Harvey's final attempt came just minutes before time ran out, meaning Rahal could only watch and hold his breath for those four laps. 

To make matters worse for Bobby Rahal, he is an owner of both Harvey's and Graham Rahal's race teams for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. 

The elder Rahal won the Indy 500 as a driver in 1986 and as a team owner in 2004 and 2020. He'll have to hope his son, who has finished in the top five twice, will eventually get to experience that jubilation. It won't happen in May 2023. 

At this rate, the Rahals might want to start removing "Bump Day" from their calendars. 

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Nick Brinkerhoff is an editorial intern at The Sporting News.