Racing for the home team
Fox Car Report talks to Indycar star Ryan Hunter-Reay about racing for the championship and with his wife
- Duration 11:50
- Date Aug 10, 2012
Fox Car Report talks to Indycar star Ryan Hunter-Reay about racing for the championship and with his wife
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-- -- Gary gas to -- you know the Olympics are wrapping up this weekend about the mile patriotism has to go to waste.
He descends on that this guy's way Ryan hunter -- of Andretti auto sport.
When the top American drivers in IndyCar Series for -- could lead right now actually conscious yeah I had a great run recently you know we won three straight and it took over the the championship lead after Toronto and you know it's it's it's a dream come true to be able to be with a team.
Winning team and and a team capable of bring another one -- it's it's pretty cool this is this is what you always one -- the racing driver and and now here I am sitting in the seat.
-- watching the Olympics much.
Absolutely have a lot of respect for for every one of those -- plus cycling there nothing motor sports related.
They need like soap box derby or something has become half of bobsled don't you know yet you get a motor and engine in the next and they might feel that too many variables involved in in the taking -- -- of -- the human aspect of -- -- Yeah you know what we we had something like that at one point a one GP where all the series had to add their own firewall that the teams -- representing a nation and you know that was pretty -- I did that for a little -- he did.
Season there or whatever happened that -- this shame I kind of took our business -- -- that.
It was any concept but when you really think about there's no there's no corporate sponsorship backing it there's no there's no sponsors on the slow the cars I just think that that just you know the well.
-- and that was that open wheel racing.
Expensive competitive although Indy car made -- a little bit more affordable this year with the new car beyond the large DW twelve.
How's that going because obviously brand -- -- this season that was going to be the big variable for years you were using the same cars how do you think you guys obviously your team's.
Got a pretty good handle it -- that.
Yeah absolutely it's been a big shot in the arm for Indy cars and as a whole really mean it in the series it is -- it is -- arise right now and and with the new card the racing has been better than it's been in many years I mean this year's Indy 500 people are saying was one of the best ever it was and you know that that's how it's been we've seen -- -- every -- -- we've just seen the passing.
Percentage is gone up and -- you're seeing more more lead changes.
And and the you know from the driver's seat.
The car really rewards you hang in that last little bit that -- last percentage and it's some it's been a lot of fun that Sherry and I've had a chance to develop the Chevrolet engine the beginning of the season and do a lot of testing in the DW twelve.
-- oddly named DW and -- Dan Wheldon and he he did a lot of development work on this car and he's done a great job with it because.
It certainly certainly -- and some great racing and in previous years the cars were significantly different for the oval tracks and road courses street course of this one it's.
Much closer in configuration regardless of -- gonna -- -- is that right yeah absolutely this car is meant to be a road and oval racing cars so they can be it can be mixed and matched.
Whereas the other car was meant to be an -- car and that change it's -- road and there was a conversion -- and it has been a lot of work for the teens but now you can go from one.
-- to a road course back to a street circuit to a short oval within a few weeks.
And and it's not just -- over bearing on the team's and and really it's it is cheaper because of that because the cars meant for all these different disciplines does the car like one of those.
-- -- Tracks better than -- others that depends in our cars the way you set it up at least you know the -- or cars the teams are giving me great.
Great chance on the short ovals you know we won two of those races this year Milwaukee and and and Iowa and in Milwaukee was special because you know we we're in DHL Victory Lane -- obviously huge -- and team myself and and and sun drop was all over the car with the -- -- and -- -- and it was really cool.
But then it back it up with the Toronto went on a street circuit which is completely different than anything -- -- been doing on the short ovals.
To back it up there that that really meant something some team as a whole because we -- we we showed we can win on any type of racetrack you've done three in a row.
Those three races and Rory came in first.
Yeah those -- -- thereof came first and that that that.
It really it never really sunk in that.
I think it's because I always had the championship in mind you know we won the first one Iowa was very we will in the first on the lock in and I -- one that was very.
Satisfying to know they want to add a row but -- you think amber getting her do it again we -- to Toronto and that that was pretty cool put those three together when you put three together you think of -- -- with a championship that never ends and that's just that's the competition the sport.
You know it's never good enough you always have to be digging deeper what's been the key to get a handle on that car -- -- -- done such a great job with their car this year.
Well you know and -- -- a great job in years past.
You this team is one championships and it's capable of it.
Ganassi and Penske kind of had a stranglehold on that on that all the car the car we just got rid of the new cars somewhat leveled the playing field allowed some teams to play some catch up and -- better.
The teams that have that have really dominated the sport the past two or three years so.
Now I think we're seeing.
-- we're seeing a mix of tracks and disciplines on on the circuit that.
That really you can come in and you you can win any weekend.
And that that goes to -- for for ten guys out there really.
IndyCar is got a very international field and guys like Helio Castroneves -- breakeven very popular here in the United States regardless of where they come from -- how important do you think it is.
They have an American up near the top right now.
Well it's an American series I do think it's important I mean I think IndyCar is it is this is the best drivers right so it doesn't matter where you're from.
It's an American series and and I know coming from from a personal from my side of it.
I was a fan of the sport forever even put.
Put in a go cart before Sadler and down -- -- go -- and really fell in love with racing in driving.
I was a fan of the sport and I watched it in for some reason I was gravitated to the American drivers I loved watching Rick Mears.
You know Michael Andretti Al Unser junior Bobby -- all.
I'm not sure why that is an American conservative form just naturally I wanted to see him succeed and now I'm seeing other kids at a younger kids.
Kind of in the same position and that's pretty special to see that you know.
Twenty years later whatever it is to see to see.
You know the other side of that it's it's it's nice to see that come full circle.
Season coming down to the wire the next couple months how's it looking for you would with obviously you.
Pretty optimistic I'm sure your chances are doing well but.
Would have intelligence come forward you know it's -- -- be tough mean and it's like any minute and football you know you get the you go through an entire season you still gotta get to the playoffs and you got to meet you gotta make it into that into the big game.
And that's what we're focusing on right now we've got to be consistent and we've got to get down -- that last race at Fontana.
And hopefully it's up the championship is up for grabs at that last race hopefully it's a really tight race that point.
Because the next two weekends.
The next series beacons of Baltimore in Sonoma.
You know anybody in the top five or six in the championship and really when there so I -- Fontana as -- a wild -- I think it's all gonna come down the finale California.
I know one of the issues this year is you only have a limited number vengeance you -- again that's one of those cost saving measures where you stand on that funny you.
Against them when and and engines are heavier they I can look at a well.
Yeah we had take some penalties this year just because it is a new engine you know and and you know Chevy Honda as it.
These guys -- the best in the business of building these engines and and making them the perform at their absolute maximum.
But it's been a relatively short amount of time so we have this we had this very small engine that we're getting all this horsepower out of and -- just leading every little heart out to the absolute Max and you know there's bound to be some failures and some problems and that's part of that's part of auto racing that's part of the auto industry in general.
And it's been frustrating to take the penalties -- we change in engine but you know hopefully we're with -- with the -- we have now for the rest of the season that that would be -- The ideal scenario so.
You know as long as we have the next are racist -- -- trouble free without mechanical players that's that's all -- can ask.
-- that IndyCar of course -- main job like any good car racing you do do a little love moonlighting on the side you part of the new died at thirteen viper team.
Giving you some of the endurance races with them his card I'm diners drive obviously everybody is always the street version and you got -- -- -- -- -- Not yet I'm that I get my hands on it for sure this is an opportunity to team up -- that's our TN.
And and Riley technologies is is helping put the team together.
I've got a great relationship with them I've driven with them and that it Daytona 24 before so that was an opportunity given just a good group of people you know racing really is about.
It's a team aspect in it's a team sport when you -- -- -- the opportunity to team up with a good group of people you gotta do it and let's -- this wasn't.
What a -- can race -- well mean that that thing is just possible himself.
Every year -- the Daytona 24 of the top twelve hours of Sebring in.
And now this year -- be doing the the T LaMont -- -- in the vipers so.
New chapter in.
In my career for sure not too many weekends off in your house.
Who acknowledges you but you wife also a race car driver -- Gordon she's going to be out of pikes -- pikes peak this weekend Ramirez will climb drive and an electric car -- like an egg actually.
Yes that's yeah it's different it's it's a Mitsubishi electric car and I think it's pretty much you know stock I mean -- what you would actually buy out -- on the street this thing's gonna climbed 141000 feet.
Or whatever it is the top.
It's just amazing I don't know much about -- Beacon Hill climb and makes me a little nervous tell you the truth but they're gonna go out there and -- support.
You know -- -- on 10% so that's a proud of -- Pretty big year pikes -- -- your benefits and pay from top to bottom is should be some -- -- to hear is that right dancers and they've.
-- -- -- -- I've seen some the videos looks crazy I mean that's the thing there you know mistake -- as major consequences you could be.
He could get a quick ride down the bottom our as far as electric car goes I am a fan of that Mitsubishi I just because the -- like an electric car can be village guards who look like regular cardiac that would actually look at what's -- heavy small tires you know and it looks like it would definitely -- but.
You know each category has its own little competition -- itself -- -- when that want you big ever gonna go Kart track here in Baghdad and does that too much for remotes to handle now you think it would be that she is actually really good you know -- She's got you know he's seen Robby Gordon race before that that -- You know that that that point where it.
Tells you to break but you just keep going right past that -- -- obvious she has that -- so.
She she is she goes out tries too hard and then you can actually -- back in and she's fast and and that's a good thing -- it's always heart's beating somebody up.
To bring them back to the speed they should be added is it's much easier so.
She is an amazing job and they and that in the go -- these kids are out of that at at the track sometimes and we roll out there with our -- and they think -- be nothing other than you know and there she goes flying by him and she really studies it -- like to see where I'm breaking them you know we have all the data acquisition on the car so.
That's fun that's -- you know we do that offseason they knew you know as -- V wade the advantage excuse -- she beat you right culture that's dollars in back pocket so -- oh yeah I'm out of -- -- but -- thirty pounds but.
You know let's three -- or it.
-- -- listen primary area and your radio -- working good luck the rest of the season that's it for fox -- this time rural C next up fox carport dot com for the latest Automotive News.