Hunter-Reay does NASCAR COT Test, off to The Glen
After completing a test in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Car of Tomorrow, Ryan Hunter-Reay reunites with the Riley-Mathews Motorsports Rolex Daytona Prototype team this Saturday, June 9, for the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York. Hunter-Reay will team up with Marc Goosens and Jim Matthews in the #91 Riley-Matthews Pontiac.
“I can’t wait to get back in the Riley-Mathews DP,” said Hunter-Reay. “Since running up front in the Daytona 24 Hour race I feel our team has unfinished business to tend to. As this is the first endurance race since the season opener our focus is going to be to run a smart, fast, consistent race with the goal of being in the mix at the end to be able to challenge for the win. I can’t say enough about this group of guys, this team. I’m certainly going to do my best to give them what they deserve.”
Recently Hunter-Reay has demonstrated his ability to be competitive in diverse formulas of motorsport. The last few weeks have been busy for Hunter-Reay as he performed a two-day NASCAR Busch Series test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway then tested a NASCAR Nextel Cup Car of Tomorrow (COT) at Nashville Super Speedway and will compete in a Riley Daytona Prototype at Watkins Glen International this weekend.
On May 14 and 15, Hunter-Reay completed his first official NASCAR Busch Series test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the Robby Gordon Motorsports Verizon Wireless car #55. Hunter-Reay shared testing duties with NASCAR Nextel Cup series regular Robby Gordon. This was the first chance for Hunter-Reay to drive a stock car around the 1.5-mile, 24 degree banked quad-oval.
“Lowe’s Motor Speedway in a Busch car is quite a feeling, I had so much fun.” said Hunter-Reay. “The sensation of speed is unreal; I can see why they call this place ‘The Beast.’ These were my first laps in a Busch car at a NASCAR open test and everything went very smooth, which was my goal”, continued Hunter-Reay. “I was happy to turn competitive lap times but even happier with how comfortable I was out there”.
Hunter-Reay’s speed, feedback, and consistency in the Busch car was rewarded with an unexpected invitation from Robby Gordon Motorsports to test the NASCAR Car of Tomorrow (COT) at Nashville Super Speedway on May 23. Hunter-Reay had previously tested the 1.3 Mile D-shaped oval in a Richard Childress prepared NASCAR Busch Series car for the GM Racing Development Driver Evaluation Program Finals where Hunter-Reay was consistently at the top of the time sheets. However, this was the first time he had even sat in a Nextel Cup car.
“I thought the Car of Tomorrow had a very distinct feel compared to the Busch car. With 800HP these Nextel Cup cars are not lacking on power. After testing the Childress Busch car at Nashville I was familiar with the concrete track’s line, and was able to post competitive times within a few laps,” Hunter-Reay commented. “I thank all the guys at Robby Gordon Motorsports for giving me the opportunity. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel again soon.”
Hunter-Reay concludes, “These tests are very important and much needed for my development and experience in stockcars, but racing is what I love and live for. A weekend like this is what it’s all about, racing in the ultra-competitive Grand-Am Rolex Series with Riley-Matthews. We have a shot to win this thing and we’ll all be digging deep to bring this team back to victory lane.
The Rolex Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen practice and qualifying is on Friday, June 8th. The race will start on Saturday, June 9th, at 11:00 AM E.S.T. and will be broadcast live on SPEED.