Rahal team to replace Simmons with Hunter-Reay

UPDATE We are upgrading this rumor to 'fact' as AutoRacing1.com has learned that ex-Champ Car driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will replace Simmons starting this weekend at Mid-Ohio. [Editor's Note: How did Champ Car ever let this American get away – won his first two years in the series, a pure product of the Champ Car ladder series, a fan favorite and a sponsor's dream. It's a crime that Champ Car let him get away and they talk about other Americans now in the wings when they had this driver in their hand? Now the opposition has him. What about other good American drivers that Champ Car let go in Fogarty, Gurney, Moran to name a few?]

07/18/07 Jeff Simmons nearly caused a catastrophic accident when he lost control in the pit entry lane on the 188th lap. The Ethanol Council-sponsored entry shot up the track in Turn 4 into the path of Kosuke Matsuura, who veered to the right in avoidance and lightly brushed the wall. After at least four crashes this season, Simmons has reportedly been on shaky ground recently at Rahal Letterman Racing and the near-miss with Matsuura may be the last straw for Bobby Rahal and general manager Scott Roembke. Several drivers are under consideration, including Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron, Alex Gurney and Ryan Hunter-Reay. ESPN.com

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