Kentucky: Rahal Letterman Racing preview

RYAN HUNTER-REAY AND RLR CHASE A THIRD CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 RESULT TO KENTUCKY HILLIARD, Ohio - Blue moon of Kentucky keep on shining - Elvis Presley Coming off of back-to-back top-10 finishes for the first time this season, Rahal Letterman...

RYAN HUNTER-REAY AND RLR CHASE A THIRD CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 RESULT TO KENTUCKY

HILLIARD, Ohio - Blue moon of Kentucky keep on shining - Elvis Presley

Coming off of back-to-back top-10 finishes for the first time this season, Rahal Letterman Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) will head to Kentucky Speedway for this weekend's Meijer Indy 300 armed with something it has yet to carry to an oval track this year - a full book of notes from the previous season.

Hunter-Reay makes his second trip to the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway after joining RLR a year ago, thus marking the first time that the Floridian will make a return visit to an IndyCar Series oval with his Ohio-based squad.

"Kentucky Speedway is the first oval I am returning to as the driver of the Ethanol IndyCar," Hunter-Reay said. "This should work to our advantage as we had a pretty good car there in 2007, but were hampered by electrical issues in the race. We have been working very hard on our oval setups and we have shown we are going in the right direction with our 2008 pace on all size ovals."

Hunter-Reay and RLR had one of its best showings of the season at Kentucky a year ago and will look to build on that this weekend. Hunter-Reay set a season high for oval-track qualifying by gridding eighth while the team's second car scored the third spot in the starting lineup. Hunter-Reay's charge was blunted by radio troubles however as a bad connection caused miscommunications on pit stops and took three stops to fix, leaving Hunter-Reay to finish 15th.

Coming off an eighth-place finish in Edmonton, Hunter-Reay is looking to string three consecutive top-10 runs together for the first time since 2004, and in what would be his first such string since joining Rahal Letterman Racing. He has carried the #17 Ethanol machine into the top 10 in the IndyCar Series standings with a strong run over the last stretch of six races in six weeks. During the recent Bataan Death March of a six-week run, Hunter-Reay scored four top-10 results - including his first win since joining RLR - and was sixth in IndyCar points during that stretch.

"We continue to overcome adversity and are committed to keeping this car in the top 10 in the points," stated Hunter-Reay. "This last stretch of races should be a lot of fun, two road courses dove-tailed by ovals, that's what IndyCar racing is all about. That is why I love being part of this series."

The two-day event kicks off with a busy Friday in Sparta, Kentucky. Teams have two hours and 45 minutes of practice time available to them, beginning at 11:15 a.m. The practice sessions will lead directly to four-lap qualifying, which gets underway at 6:30 p.m. The Meijer Indy 300 takes place at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday and can be seen live on ESPN2.

-credit: rlr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay