Hunter-Reay to run two races on same day at Homestead
· Ryan Hunter-Reay on Homestead-Miami Speedway: “The key for Homestead is to minimize the push in turns 3 and 4. That’s where most of the teams have a problem and that’s where we had a problem when I ran for Team Rahal 18 months ago when we opened the season there. We never really fixed it, we just made it a little less bad. It’s not as easy to get around this track as it is the other 1.5 mile ovals. Homestead has its own characteristics to it--definitely not a flat-out, hold-it-to-the-floor track. You get the lack of front grip but then at the exit you have a snap and it gets a little loose so that track brings out the worst in the car sometimes. In the beginning of the race, you’ll have side by side racing but then it becomes a bit of a single groove track once the tires start to go away. I’m looking for a top-10 finish; we’ve had a couple this year and that would be a good way to end the season. The season’s been far from straightforward for the team. Those guys worked hard for me all year and I’ve worked hard for them; and it would be good to get a solid performance in for the entire ABC Supply team.”
· Hunter-Reay will do double duty Saturday for a new ‘first’ at Homestead-Miami Speedway: In addition to driving the Indy car, he will drive the No. 95 Supercar Life Racing/Level 5 Motorsports Riley/BMW in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series race as teammate to Scott Tucker who owns the team. “I saw this as a very unique challenge,” said Hunter-Reay. “I was very interested in working with Bill Riley and the Level 5 Motorsports team and driving for A.J. Foyt on the same weekend. I drove with Bill in two SunTrust 24 Hour races at Daytona and he is going to be running the second Supercar Life Racing DP car this weekend for Scott. My first priority is the IndyCar team. IndyCar racing is number one for me, that’s my goal, it’s where I want to stay and nothing comes before that. But at the same time, the opportunity was offered to do something that nobody has done at that track--racing both the oval and the road course on the same day! I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun this weekend. Hopefully we can come out with two great finishes! I’m doing the best I can to emulate ‘A.J. the Ironman’.”
· Hunter-Reay will host several Miami Dolphins football players (including linebacker Jason Taylor and rookie running back Lex Hilliard) and cheerleaders at the race Saturday afternoon. The Dolphins are Hunter-Reay’s all-time favorite football team. He plans to exchange helmets with linebacker Jason Taylor next week. Hunter-Reay will be a guest of the Dolphins when they play the N.Y. Jets in the Monday Night football game at Land Shark Stadium. This past Tuesday, Hunter-Reay took part in the 11th Annual NFL/United Way Hometown Huddle, a series of volunteer projects implemented on the same day across the country. This year’s local Hometown Huddle in Miami focused on the prevention of obesity among special needs children as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league’s youth health and fitness campaign. About 200 children and young adults with disabilities between the ages of five and 22 from both counties joined Miami Dolphins players and United Way volunteers at the Dolphins’ Indoor training facility. Hunter-Reay and the Dolphins players manned a variety of fitness stations, and children and their families got a chance to meet and interact with the athletes, get autographs, enjoy nutritious snacks, get a workout, and learn about the importance of physical fitness. “It was a lot of fun,” said Hunter-Reay. “I don’t know who was happier being there, me or the kids!”
· Vitor Meira tested the No. 14 ABC Supply car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sept.30. It was Meira’s first time back in an Indy car since he broke two vertebrae in his back when he crashed with Raphael Matos in the Indy 500. “It feels really good to be back,” said Meira. “I can’t deny that I was a little bit apprehensive coming in here today. It wasn’t a normal test day for me but now it’s all good. Everything that I’m supposed to feel, I’m feeling so I’m happy about that. That’s what I was most concerned about because you don’t really know what you have mentally since you can’t simulate the conditions out there. You can train as much as you want but you can’t simulate the car running so I was a bit apprehensive on that but now all the questions are answered.” Meira will return to the ABC Supply-sponsored No. 14 Indy car for the 2010 season.
ABC Supply roofing customer Chase Contracting and Roofing of Cooper City, FL won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for the Homestead-Miami Indy 300. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. John Chase will receive selected merchandise, race tickets, hospitality and garage passes, plus Meet and Greets with Vitor Meira and A.J. Foyt. The “Your Name Here” promotion selected winners by random drawing from a pool of entries sent in by ABC Supply customers earlier this year.
The IndyCar Series autograph session will be held Thursday, Oct. 8th at Macy’s in the Dadeland Mall. The drivers will be signing from 6 to 7 pm at the store located at 7535 N. Kendall Drive; Miami, FL.
· Past performance at Homestead: Ryan Hunter-Reay has one start at Homestead-Miami Speedway; he started ninth and finished seventh. The Foyt team has nine starts (fielding two cars in 2002) and has five top-10s, two of which are top-fives. Eliseo Salazar posted the best finish for the team in 2001 with his third place finish.
· The Homestead-Miami Indy 300 will be shown live Saturday, Oct. 10 with coverage on VERSUS starting at 4:00 p.m. ET.