RYAN HUNTER-REAY’s oNgoiNg QUEs T
inspiration to other racers doesn’t need
to be Hunter-Reay’s priority. He appears
to be at his prime and, having fought so
hard for so long to align that prime as a
driver with being in a prime seat, he’s got
to take full advantage. Becoming a hero to
up-and-coming racers will be a by-product
of RHR continuing at this level, fighting
the best of the best from around the
world and proving he is one of the best.
And there seems every hope of that.
“Given the incredibly tight competition
in IndyCar, making predictions about how
you’ll perform is probably dangerous,” he
remarks. “But one thing I do know is that
if we keep doing what we’ve been doing
– turning up at races with a car that can
run at the front – there’s no reason why
we can’t have continued success in years
to come. That’s the way I look at it.”
So while there still will be races when
Ryan’s fighting spirit costs him – that just
goes with the territory of giving 100
percent, 100 percent of the time – there
will be far more where it pays off. Big time.
Hunter-Reay has now done the ultimate:
win the IndyCar title and the Indy 500.
But he wasn’t destined to do that. It was
his innate competitiveness, talent and
hard work that earned him those glories,
and now they need only serve as a
blueprint for his future. That isn’t destiny
calling; that’s the IndyCar record books.
(LEFT) A maturing Hunter-Reay should not
be confused with one who’s going to back it
down a notch or two. (FAR LEFT, clockwise
from top left) Son Ryden is as enamored with
the Borg-Warner Trophy as the rest of us;
kissing the yard of bricks; crossing the yard
of bricks; enjoying the moment with Michael
Andretti. Each revived the other’s fortunes.