Andretti Autosport has signed Phillips-Van Heusen and its IZOD brand to team with driver Ryan Hunter-Reay during the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season and outlined the first phase of Hunter-Reay's program.
The initial focus of Hunter-Reay's effort in the #37 IZOD entry will be the 2010 Indianapolis 500 and will also include a number of other key series events before and after the month of May. The total number and location of those races has not yet been finalized.
The second phase of Hunter Reay's Andretti Autosport program is targeted at running the full IZOD IndyCar Series schedule and is still in development.
Today's announcement deepens the relationship between IZOD and Hunter-Reay, which dates back to the 2008 season and Hunter-Reay's first IZOD IndyCar Series victory at Watkins Glen International. Hunter-Reay was named 2008 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year, and claimed 2007 IZOD IndyCar Series rookie of the year honors despite joining the series only mid-season.
In 2003, Hunter-Reay became the first American rookie in 20 years to win an Indy car race when he took the checkers at Surfers Paradise, Australia. He later set the record for most laps led (250) in a single race when he lapped all but the second- and third-place cars at the historic Milwaukee Mile in 2004. He has also competed regularly in the Rolex Sports Car Series at the annual Rolex 24 at Daytona and also in the American LeMans Series, Baja 1000 and A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.
ALLEN SIRKIN, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, PHILLIPS-VAN HEUSEN: "Our involvement with Ryan Hunter-Reay began in the 2008 season with a memorable win at Watkins Glen International, and he's continued to develop into one of the league's top young drivers. Our new partnership with Andretti Autosport gives the #37 IZOD car the best possible chance of winning the 2010 Indianapolis 500. Since becoming the title sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series, we're thrilled at the level of excitement that has been built for 2010. An incredible schedule of races, a talented roster of championship drivers and a number of dedicated teams all vying for greatness will make for a thrilling season of IZOD IndyCar Series racing."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: "We are excited about what we've put together with PVH and Ryan, and believe we can grow this program substantially over the next several months. We felt it was important to announce what we know and what we've secured, which is a great partnership under the IZOD brand name and a program that we feel will give Ryan an excellent shot of winning at Indianapolis. How far we take him into 2010 is still in the works, but we feel good about the potential that we will add Ryan to our driver lineup for the full season."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, DRIVER, #37 IZOD CAR: "Joining a team of Andretti Autosport's caliber has been my goal for the entire 16 years of my racing career and being able to strengthen my ties to everyone at IZOD through this effort is tremendous. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am ready to give 120 percent to the program.
"I have never met a group of people who are more determined to win races, and especially the Indianapolis 500, than the people I am working with at Andretti Autosport. When the folks around you share the same enthusiasm and determination you do the prospect for success is high, which is why, Andretti Autosport is one of the winningest teams in IZOD IndyCar Series history. "Michael Andretti is as hungry to win races today as he has ever been and it is an honor and a privilege to drive for the same person I looked up to as a young karter.
"Through its entitlement of the IZOD IndyCar Series, IZOD has positioned itself as the biggest supporter of our sport. To personally have IZOD's endorsement as a driver is truly an honor."
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