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DATE News (chronologically)
09/29/08
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Rahal team tests at Indy
The last time Ryan Hunter-Reay had his #17 Ethanol-sponsored Indy Car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he was making a late-race pass of Hideki Mutoh to earn Indy 500 Rookie-of-the-Year honors with a sixth-place finish.

But the Floridian had a bigger goal in mind on a cloudy Monday, as he turned 88 laps around the cavernous 2.5-mile Indy oval. Last year’s top-rookie honors were unquestionably a feather in the cap, but the team and the driver are now more focused on adding a ring to their fingers.

Ryan and his Rahal Letterman Racing stablemates took part in Firestone tire testing at Indy today, logging more than 200 miles while dodging raindrops that shut the track down for more than an hour. Hunter-Reay and his Ethanol machine had no troubles during the day, allowing the team to gain valuable insights to be used when it chases its second Indianapolis 500 title next season.

“It was great to be here testing for Firestone and I appreciate the opportunity that Firestone gave us by inviting us to be part of the day,” Hunter-Reay said. “It is nice to see a company with the dedication to excellence that Firestone has, that drives them to come out early in the preseason and put on a test like this.”

Hunter-Reay was in fast company as 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon, last year’s Indy polesitter Ryan Briscoe and former Indy champ Dan Wheldon were also on track with the Ethanol machine. No official times were released on the day, which cleared up after the late morning rains, allowing teams to get a good bit of work done.

“It is always great to get to Indy to get some laps in,” Hunter-Reay reported. “We got some stuff done with the cars, took the opportunity to try a few different things. There are so many things that you can do with the car here, so anything we can do now just helps us roll off the truck faster when we get here in May.”

Hunter-Reay also participated in media activities in Indianapolis on Sunday night, appearing on the FOX 59 Sunday Sports Show to discuss the upcoming season. Ryan will go tomorrow to Fostoria, Ohio to help celebrate the grand opening of an Ethanol refining plant for POET.
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