Hunter-Reay Top Indycar Rookie
September 12, 2007 | 8:05 P.M. EST
Wednesday, he was in Salt Lake City, Utah, preparing to race a Daytona Prototype in Saturday’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve season-ending Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park.
Hunter-Reay will co-drive the No. 91 Riley-Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley with Marc Goosens and Jim Matthews. This will be his fourth race with the team this season, with his best finish sixth in the Sahlen’s Six Hours at Watkins Glen.
Hunter-Reay joined the IndyCar Series at Mid-Ohio in August when he replaced Jeff Simmons in Rahal Letterman Racing’s No. 17 Team Ethanol Honda. He finished seventh in that race, and then finished sixth the following weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Hunter-Reay scored 119 points in Bombardier LearJet Rookie of the Year competition, winning by 23 points over Milka Duno.
“I got to race the last six races of the season, and it’s nice to get a consolation prize out of it,” said Hunter-Reay, who finished seventh in the season finale at Chicagoland Speedway. “In the finale last weekend at Chicagoland, we had a 10th place car and we finished seventh. I was happy with the car – we had strong in and out laps.”
Now, the 26-year-old Boca Raton, Florida driver is exploring his options. In addition to IndyCar Series and Grand-Am races, he’s also tested NASCAR stock cars earlier this season. He was slated to drive in the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen for Robby Gordon, but his move to the IndyCar Series negated that move.
“I want to do NASCAR at some point in my career, but, right now, I feel I have unfinished business in sports cars and Indy,” Hunter-Reay said. “I enjoy racing everything I can get my hands on. I’m exploring my options. I’m with a great team in the IndyCar Series, and I think they want me back. I’d love to continue being involved with Ethanol.”
Hunter-Reay made his Daytona Prototype debut last year at Miller Motorsports Park, co-driving with Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley – which was then managed by Riley Motorsports. He led 30 laps in the event, but was sidelined by overheating that led to electrical issues. He also ran two events in the GT class in the SAMAX Porsche, finishing third at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.