But at the same time, the win for the Pro Nitrous standout simply whetted his appetite for more.
â€œI want to get to the next race and keep going, but this is all very fulfilling,â€ Rahaim said. â€œWeâ€™re going for it. Weâ€™re in a positive mindset and we have a lot of confidence going into the remainder of the season.â€
That confidence is as high as itâ€™s ever been heading into Dragstock IX this weekend at ZMAX Dragway in Charlotte, and thereâ€™s every reason for it to be.
After advancing to the finals at the first two races of the season, Rahaim broke through for the first time in the ADRL, running an impressive 3.797 at 197 mph in the finals of the Summer Drags VIII last month at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin.
That it came in front of a huge crowd of family and friends made it all even sweeter.
â€œI can say my life is complete. I’ve always wanted to win one of these races and I’ve always wanted to do it at my home track with everybody here in person.
â€œI was really proud of everybody. When I saw that 3.79 come up, it was just like, â€˜Wow.â€™ I couldnâ€™t even tell you what I was feeling.â€
It was a feeling Rahaim had waited a long time for, but the payoff has been worth it.
After a great 2011 where Rahaim put up a number of career-bests and a semifinal finish, the Mich. native has taken his performance to another level in 2012.
With the back-to-back finals appearances to start the year and then the win at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park, Rahaim is the points leader in a highly-competitive class heading into Dragstock.
Rahaim is the first to admit heâ€™s had tremendous help from his family-based team, as well as the likes of Jerry Bickel Race Cars, Switzer Dynamics and Reher-Morrison.
â€œI really want to thank those guys. Theyâ€™ve been instrumental in getting us the right parts and pieces,â€ Rahaim said. â€œEverybody pulled together and we just tried to give it our best. Everything came together and it was really amazing. It was a really defining moment for the whole crew.â€
It also served as a perfect tribute to crew chief Kevin Bowen, who was hospitalized before the event.
He followed along online, and Rahaim was hopeful that the win gave him some joy during some adverse times.
Bowen will be following along online for Dragstock, and Rahaim remains confident that his team will make the right calls.
â€œItâ€™s going to be a challenge but I think the crew is up for it,” Rahaim said. “We just have to trust our instincts and not second-guess too many things. Just make the call and go with it, and thatâ€™s the mindset we have to keep. But weâ€™re looking forward to it.â€
The run in the 3.70s, the first of his career, also gave Rahaim and his team a boost.
Along with Doug Riesterer, Rahaim has made the only other run in the 3.70s this year.
After off-season surgery, Rahaim is feeling better than ever as well, meaning heâ€™s ready to keep his hot streak going in Charlotte.
â€œItâ€™s really a pleasure to be out there competing,â€ Rahaim said. â€œTo be out there and feel healthy, and competing at a level where you think you have a shot at winning, thatâ€™s a satisfying feeling to do something you love to do.
â€œItâ€™s exciting to know thereâ€™s still some left in the car, too. Hopefully we just take it one round and we keep learning and it all shakes out the way itâ€™s supposed to go.â€