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Ryan Hunter-Reay is savouring the chance to return to Watkins Glen this weekend. The 28-year-old A.J. Foyt driver, who moved from Tony George's Vision Racing in the middle of June, took a stunning victory at 'The Glen' last year and is anxious to get back out on track on Saturday.
With the win coming on Sunday in 2008, Ryan's weekend began in peculiar fashion. "I got pulled over on Friday by state troopers who said they'd let me out of a ticket if I won," he laughed. After speeding on the race track as well as off it, Hunter-Reay did take the win but is still waiting for his reward from the local police.
"It was a great weekend overall because IZOD planned this big kickoff to their (championship sponsorship) deal and my personal sponsorship," he continued. "We had a good Saturday to qualify third and then on Sunday I had a good start and just ran really well." With Darren Manning leading the race and a collision taking second and third-placed men Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe out, Hunter-Reay found himself running directly behind the leader. "Darren was in front of me and I knew I had to make it happen - and if it was going to happen it was going to happen in the first corner," he excitedly explained. "On cold tyres, I got a good restart and stuck it down on the inside of him in Turn 1. Then, when I got to the top of the hill, Darren popped to the outside so I stuck to the inside and we held on to it from there."
With his debut win coming in 2008, Ryan is just as much in love with Watkins Glen in 2009. "It's a beautiful place and then you have the history of the track. It's an amazing racetrack in itself with all the ascents and descents and the changes in corners - the big, long, flowing corners to short, tight 90-degree corners. It has everything you need, it's just an awesome racetrack to drive an IndyCar around. There could be nobody in the stands - just me out there in an IndyCar - and I'd have a blast."
A.J. Foyt Racing
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