The February 2010 issue of RACER magazine will feature an exclusive interview with Andretti Autosport's new IZOD IndyCar Series driver, Ryan Hunter-Reay. In the article, an excerpt of which appears below, Hunter-Reay reveals the ups and downs of his career to date, the details behind his star-crossed 2009 season with Vision Racing and A.J. Foyt Racing, and his hopes for finally getting a chance to take his place among the elite players in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
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It's perfectly feasible – if mind-warpingly illogical – that, next May 30, Ryan Hunter-Reay will win the Indy 500 and then be out of work the following weekend for the seventh round of the IZOD IndyCar Series at Texas Motor Speedway. For Hunter-Reay, that will just mean he's fallen in yet another of the craters that pockmark his career path. He's become expert at climbing out of them, showing not just resilience but an unconquerable will to succeed.
His newest hope lies with Andretti Autosport (formerly Andretti Green Racing), with whom he will compete in the Indy 500 and selected races before that. Some might see a partial season as a dreadful compromise. For Ryan, it's a major opportunity with one of the biggest teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series – and his enthusiasm bubbles through.
“I'd been talking with Michael for some time, just casually here and there,” says Ryan. “When I showed up at Rahal Letterman back in the middle of 2007, a couple members of his team came up to me and said, ‘You know, since you turned up, that car's been a pain in our butts!' and that started the first spark.
“Then we just started talking more and more. I think they liked the way I dealt with the situations I found myself in this year. They know I'm hungry, there's no complacency, and I've yet to get into excellent equipment, so hopefully this is that opportunity.”