ENHANCED 'VISION' Fort Lauderdale, FL (April 10, 2009) -- In the past three years, popular American racer Ryan Hunter-Reay has won in Indy Car, Champ Car, CART and Sports Cars. He's won on road courses, street courses and ovals. The last three...
Fort Lauderdale, FL (April 10, 2009) -- In the past three years, popular American racer Ryan Hunter-Reay has won in Indy Car, Champ Car, CART and Sports Cars. He's won on road courses, street courses and ovals. The last three years have also been the most challenging of his career, having faced more than his fair share of 'challenges' to stay at the top level of motorsports in the United States. However, "RHR," as his fans affectionately call him, is a professional, who never gives less than 100% in anything he does.
2008 saw Hunter-Reay return to the winners circle at the historic Watkins Glen Grand Prix, earn Indy 500 Rookie of the year honors, and finish the year on the podium at Surfers Paradise Australia, with Rahal Letterman Racing. He finished his first IndyCar season optimistic for 2009. Unfortunately, RLR's primary sponsor withdrew their support and consequently RLR withdrew from IndyCar competition.
It wasn't until the week before the first race of the season, The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that Hunter-Reay reached an agreement to drive for Tony George's Vision Racing Team. The following week he helped write a new chapter in the Vision history books when the team raced from 14th to second, recording the best result in Vision Racing's five year history.
"It was a long winter, we worked really hard to put a program together, and I learned a lot," said Hunter-Reay. "I am grateful for the opportunity to race for Vision, they are a top-notch IndyCar team and extremely professional. We have a huge opportunity here to compete for wins all season, and last weekend was an example of that. We've just brushed the surface and it's going to be exciting to watch our progression through the rest of the season."?
RHR Vision.JPG 2008 also saw Ryan sign a multi-year personal sponsorship with IZOD to not only represent the brand on the track but to be an integral part of IZOD's multi-million dollar IndyCar marketing campaign. The IZOD brand embodies a youthful, energetic spirit with an active sport-inspired lifestyle, which Ryan lives, therefore creating a partnership was a natural for both Ryan and IZOD.
Executives from IZOD were present at The Indy 500, Watkins Glen, and St. Petersburg races managing their massive investment in IndyCar. Meanwhile, 'RHR' took care of business on the track, delivering results and enhanced media attention while underscoring the fact that IZOD came to IndyCar to win, and win with Hunter-Reay, which they have been outspoken about from the very beginning. "Ryan's result last weekend in St. Pete was exactly what I expected," said Executive Vice President of Marketing, Mike Kelly. "Ryan is an amazing driver and given the opportunity, he always performs. We knew others might count him out of that race because of the challenges of his program coming together at the last minute, but I know Ryan, it drives him. When he is presented with a challenge, he performs. It was a tough race and he drove it to the podium. He is a great spokesperson for IZOD and we're excited for the season ahead."
"It was great to both end last season and start this season with a podium for IZOD. ? Everyone wears IZOD and to be able to represent the brand is a tremendous honor."? Hunter-Reay continued, "They've activated a mega marketing program with IndyCar -- the merchandise program, the television commercials, bill boards, double page magazine ads, the movie theater trailers, extensive promotions at every race, a massive promotion with Macy's, it's just terrific."
Hunter-Reay continued, "Another fantastic thing about driving for Vision is that their business executives intuitively knew to embrace IZOD and the bridges they are building together have already resulted in dividends and continued collaboration well only result in additional benefits for everyone involved".
Hunter-Reay spent this week working with his new team at the Vision Racing headquarters in Indianapolis. He'll be back on track next week in Long Beach, on what he refers to as "The Best American Street Circuit -- Ever."