IRL: Rahal Letterman Racing test news 2008-02-20

RYAN HUNTER-REAY LOGS PLENTY OF OFF-TRACK MILES IN PREPARATION FOR 2008 INDYCAR SERIES SEASON HILLIARD, Ohio (February 20, 2008) -- On-track preparations have been underway for more than a month for Rahal Letterman Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay as...

RYAN HUNTER-REAY LOGS PLENTY OF OFF-TRACK MILES IN PREPARATION FOR 2008 INDYCAR SERIES SEASON

HILLIARD, Ohio (February 20, 2008) -- On-track preparations have been underway for more than a month for Rahal Letterman Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay as the reigning IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year has run three separate tests for the Ohio-based squad.

But the miles logged around tracks like Homestead and Phoenix in the preseason have not been enough for Hunter-Reay as he spent the last four days jetting even further around the country in promotional appearances for the team and the series, as well as for the primary sponsor of his #17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone Indy Car.

Saturday night saw Hunter-Reay join Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver Graham Rahal for an appearance at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University, taking in the OSU/Northern Michigan men's hockey game. Rahal Letterman Racing had its Ethanol-sponsored IndyCar on display along with an historic BMW race car and Hunter-Reay joined Champ Car's Rahal in signing autographs for the fans. Hunter-Reay also participated in a pre-game face-off with players, then participated as a judge for events held during intermission of the game.

From there, Hunter-Reay flew to Kansas City on his way to LifeLine Foods, which will serve as the exclusive supplier of fuel-grade Ethanol for the 2008 IndyCar Series. Located in St. Joseph, Missouri, LifeLine Foods has introduced many energy-saving innovations to the process of making Ethanol, and their executives explained the process in detail to Hunter-Reay during a tour of the plant.

In addition to the plant tour, Hunter-Reay spent a great deal of time working with IMS Productions in the filming of a feature piece about how the IndyCar Series' fuel is made. The piece, which will air as part of the IndyCar Series Season Preview show to air on March 28 on ESPN2 at 7 p.m., features Hunter-Reay in full Ethanol racing regalia as he clocks in for a day of work making Ethanol at LifeLine Foods.

"I really enjoyed working with the folks at LifeLine Foods and I think the IMS Productions guys are going to put together a fun piece that shows how thousands of pounds of corn are transformed every day into the Ethanol that we race with," said Hunter-Reay. "In my role as the Team Ethanol driver I have had the opportunity to tour a number of plants, but I am constantly amazed at the improvements and innovations that I see every time I tour a facility like this one."

Ryan and the Rahal Letterman Racing team will be back on track next week, taking part in the IndyCar Series' open test sessions in Homestead February 27-28 and at Sebring March 3-4. The 2008 IndyCar Series season gets underway March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and can be seen live on ESPN2 beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: rlr

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