News & Multimedia

Hunter-Reay's Victory For Country, Team, Self

Ryan Hunter-Reay’s victory in the 98th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” was his 10th under the Andretti Autosport banner and the 50th for the team under INDYCAR sanction.

After a circuitous route, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident found a motorsports rest stop in January 2010 that has evolved into a home. Hunter-Reay signed to drive the No. 37 IZOD-sponsored car. A victory in the fourth race of the season at Long Beach extended the short-season program and, in part, led to an contract extension through 2012. He signed another two-year extension on the eve of securing the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

That Long Beach win was the first for Michael Andretti, who recorded 42 CART victories and the 1991 CART championship, as sole owner of the team.

“It's so long ago now,” Andretti said. “When we looked at Ryan, one of the reasons we wanted to have him in our family was the series. You have to be a diverse driver, be able to race on all different types of racetracks, including here at Indianapolis. Ryan was good on all those tracks. That was one of the reasons why we went after him.

“We knew he would fit in here. He's been everything we had ever hoped for. It's just been a great relationship. We're so happy to have him as part of our family. Hopefully, he'll be part of our family till he retires.”

“That would be excellent,” said Hunter-Reay, 32, who would have signed another extension in Victory Circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway if presented a contract. “I remember going back to 2010, having a shot at Andretti Autosport. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I was bouncing from team to team to team. I had to make it happen in a short amount of time, pressure-packed circumstances.

“You can’t do it alone. You have to have a team behind you, and you also need people that believe in you when the days don't go right.  That's this guy over here. I have (Andretti) to thank for making my Indy car career a possibility this way.”

Michael Andretti was 6 years old when his father, Mario, won the family’s lone Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. On the 45th anniversary of that victory, he stood in Victory Circle for the third time as a team owner.

Hunter-Reay is the first American to win the “500” since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006, and the first from Florida. Seventy-three of the victories are spread among 49 drivers from 21 states.

“I'm just so proud of this race, for more than one reason,” he said. “I grew up as a fan of this sport first and foremost. My dad took me as a kid to some Indy car races. I was just fascinated, especially with this race.  This is the biggest one, this is the granddaddy of them all. This is where drivers were made and history is made.

“When I was a kid, I looked up to the Andrettis, I looked up to Foyt, Unser, Mears, it was always trying to get there. That was the top right there. Just to have a shot at it like this is unbelievable. Being an American boy, I think when you look at maybe the NASCAR side of it, it's all Americans.  This is an international sport, open-wheel. We do battle on every different type of discipline, short ovals, street courses, the only series in the world like that. The Verizon IndyCar Series is a true drivers championship. That's what I love most about it.”

Added Andretti: Going up against the best in the world, not just the United States, is a big deal.  That's why to me it does feel more precious when an American wins it, because he won in an international field. That's when you feel really proud.”
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Hunter-Reay's Victory For Country, Team, Self
 
Hunter-Reay's Victory For Country, Team, Self
Ryan Hunter-Reay’s victory in the 98th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” was his 10th under the Andretti Autosport banner and the 50th for the team under INDYCAR sanction.
Read More
Related Media
Bob Lazier
 
Laziers Set for 'Indy Legends' Pro-Am at IMS
The “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am for Indy 500 veterans is a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course on Saturday, June 13. All veterans will have 1963 to 1972 vintage 355 cubic inch Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of the “Group 6” SVRA class. Professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting stints at the wheel at their discretion.
Read More
Crown Royal Your Hero's Name Here 400 at the Brickyard
 
Vote Now To Rename The Brickyard 400 After a Deserving Hero
Beginning this week, adult consumers can go to CrownRoyalHeroes.com to vote for the hero they think is most deserving of naming rights to the race. Voting runs through June 7 and the grand prize winner will be announced early that month. See below for their names and bios or click here to read.
Read More
Indianapolis 500
 
USA Today's 10Best Readers Choice Voting Open for 'Best Motorsports Race,' 'Best NASCAR Track'
Voting is now open for USA Today’s 10Best Readers Choice in the “Best Motorsports Race” and “Best NASCAR Track,” with IMS featured in each.
Read More
2016 Indy 500 Logo
 
IMS Offers Special Ticket Discounts for 2016 Indianapolis 500 Fans
As a thank you to the greatest race fans in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is offering special pricing for selected days for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 29, 2016.
Read More
Charlie Kimball
 
Kimball Surprises as Ganassi's Top Fighter in '500'
Kimball had never finished better than eighth in four previous Indy 500 starts, but when Dixon faltered late due to an understeer, the door was open for third place. Kimball took advantage of Dixon lifting off the throttle with two laps to go.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,943
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
20 years ago today, two drivers passed the pace car at the #Indy500. One actually won. A look back at 1995: http://t.co/lg7NMrFFi7
about 3 hours ago