Hunter-Reay's future still in doubt
Ryan Hunter-Reay already has a victory in his six races this season for Andretti Autosport. He is the highest-ranked driver on the team that also has former IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick.
"He's been great for our team. He fits right in, the other drivers love him," team owner Michael Andretti said. "He's putting in the results in the races as well, he's just done such a great job. I couldn't have asked for anything more so far."
And yet, the Andretti team might not be able to keep Hunter-Reay in the cockpit after Saturday night's race at Texas. There is a lack of sponsorship to keep the No. 37 car funded for the rest of the season.
"It's coming down to crunch time now," said Hunter-Reay, the rising 29-year-old American driver who is fifth in season points. "There is some optimism there, but we're not getting ahead of ourselves. It could be my last race, and we could potentially keep racing. ... I just don't know."
Andretti said it has been difficult trying to get new sponsorship money for Hunter-Reay's car in a still-challenged economy, and during the middle of the budget year for most companies and organizations.
"For a young driver of Ryan Hunter-Reay's ability and talent to not have a steady ride is ludicrous," said three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, a Fort Worth native and the IndyCar's pace car driver.
"It's almost easier for us right now to talk about next year than it is the rest of this year. There's all types of challenges that we've got going with this right now," Andretti said. "Having said that, I think we still have a shot at putting something together. We're still working." Excerpts from AP Story