One of the most successful combinations in recent IndyCar Series history will continue as 2012 IndyCar Series champion and this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay is signed, sealed and delivered for three more seasons with Andretti Autosport and sponsor DHL.
The principles signed the contract extensions Sunday morning at the Milwaukee Mile before Sunday’s race – an event Hunter-Reay has won three times in his career including the past two seasons.
“To get it done before the end of the season is massive to me,” Hunter-Reay told FOXSports.com. “I think of all those years wondering what we were going to do next season. I’m just thrilled to be continuing with Andretti Autosport and DHL. I don’t only see it as an opportunity for continuity and stability but I see it as an opportunity to stay with the same team and achieve some even more amazing results in the future.”
Hunter-Reay, 33, is third in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship points standings, only 63 points behind the championship leader. With 166 IndyCar starts, Hunter-Reay has 14 race wins, 81 top-10 finishes and captured the 2012 IndyCar Series championship in a thrilling finale showdown.
“Ryan is one of the top drivers out there and he is important to our family so it’s important to get him locked down,” team owner Michael Andretti said. “To have the stability of a three-year deal is huge in this day and age. It says something about the series and a blue-chip company like DHL to invest in the series for another three years is a positive sign.
"Together DHL and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) have won their first series championship and first Indy 500 and we couldn’t be happier to have both returning to the Andretti family. Having a driver as dedicated as Ryan and a partner as supportive as DHL is what every IndyCar team strives to achieve. I’m happy to have shared the last few years with them and look forward to all of the success that will no doubt be in our future together."
According to Mike Parra, Chief Executive Officer of DHL Express, USA, the decision to renew as the primary sponsor on Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 Dallara/Honda was “not a difficult one.”
“This is big for us,” Parra said. “It’s been an ideal fit for us at DHL.”
Earlier Sunday morning on the Honda IndyCar Report on RACEDAY on FOX Sports Radio, Hinchcliffe confirmed he is very close to renewing his contract with Andretti Autosport and sponsor United Fiber and Data.
“Things are moving along,” Hinchcliffe said. “We have a mutual desire to get this done and it’s moving in that direction. It’s funny everybody seems more panicked about it than we do because the season is coming to an end but it’s only August. I didn’t get this thing done until mid-October of last year because that was the end of the season. We’re sitting fine. The important thing is everybody is working toward the same goal and hopefully we will pull it off very soon.”
Andretti confirmed that later Sunday.
“We’re getting close with UFD,” Andretti said. “I’m confident they will be back. But confidence and having it done are two different things but I feel like it’s going to get done.”
Be sure to catch Bruce Martin’s Honda IndyCar Report on RACEDAY on FOX Sports Radio every Sunday from 6-8 a.m. Eastern Time.