Hunter-Reay Moves to Foyt
IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, of Boca Raton, Fla., will drive for A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply team for the remainder of the season, beginning with the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway June 20-21. Vision Racing assigned Hunter-Reay’s driving services to A.J. Foyt Enterprises in a deal struck Thursday.
The announcement comes as a result of a conversation between A.J. Foyt and Vision Racing team owner Tony George who approached Foyt at the race in Texas about using Hunter-Reay’s services while Vitor Meira recovered from a back injury sustained in the Indianapolis 500. Foyt had been looking at a short list of drivers when he agreed to the deal which would give his ABC Supply team a driver who can provide continuity in the cockpit while allowing George time to re-focus his team’s resources.
Meira is expected to return for the final race of the season in October, when, if he has recovered fully from his injuries, Foyt will run two cars at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Hunter-Reay, a 28-year-old Texas native and resident of Florida, is currently tenth in the IRL Championship. Last year, in his first full season of IndyCar competition, Hunter-Reay won in the closing laps of the Camping World Grand Prix at the historic Watkins Glen race track when on a restart he passed Darren Manning who finished second in the No. 14 ABC Supply Car. That win made Hunter-Reay the only driver to have scored wins in CART, Champ Car, and the IRL.
A second place finish for Vision Racing in this year’s IndyCar season opener at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida is the Vision team’s best finish in their five year history.
”I have always had the highest respect for both Tony George and A.J. Foyt, so when they asked me to drive the ABC Supply car while Vitor recovers, I was happy to accept,” said Hunter-Reay. “Vitor is a friend and I know all of the drivers are wishing him a speedy recovery. I am really looking forward to this new partnership with A.J. Foyt Racing and I will do my absolute best to help deliver the results we are all hoping to achieve.”
“We’re glad to welcome Ryan to our team,” said Foyt. “It’s been a tough year for us losing Vitor, but we’re looking forward to working with Ryan. We know how good he is because he beat us at Watkins Glen last year.”
Foyt’s team, with one top-10 finish this season, is currently 18th in the standings. It’s been a challenging year for the team with the No. 14 Dallara/Honda being involved in race accidents in five of the six races run to date.
Tony George said “We all feel Ryan will be able to contribute to their program and provide continuity for the rest of the season while they await Vitor (Meira)’s return.”
Vision Racing will interrupt operation of the No. 21 entry with team members being temporarily reassigned to re-focus all efforts on the team’s operation of the No.20 Menards entry with driver Ed Carpenter, as well as the Firestone Indy Lights development program with driver James Davison.
The Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be televised live on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21st starting at 1 p.m. (ET) on ABC-TV.No Comment