Junqueira removed as Hunter-Reay returns
24 May 2011 – It is now official that Ryan Hunter-Reay has been placed on the grid for this weekend’s Indianapolis 500 by A.J. Foyt and Michael Andretti, with a ‘commercial decision’ having been made to replace Bruno Junqueira. Previously, Hunter-Reay had failed to make the grid in a rain-affected Bump Day Qualifying session.
“We’ve been competitors for many years but still it’s the kind of relationship when, if someone is really down and out, you can’t turn your back on them - at least I can’t,” says Foyt.
“This is going back to the way racing used to be, where if people were in a lot of trouble you tried to help each other out. I know it’s a tough deal for Bruno, but he understood the situation. I appreciate that more than anyone knows.”
As a result of the driver switch, the #41 cars moves to the back of the field for the start. “There has been an incredible range of emotion these past few days,” Hunter-Reay added. “Commercial decisions and corporate support is what makes it possible for both of our teams to compete and this was a commercially-driven decision.
“I am an IndyCar driver and I’m also a representative for DHL, Dr Pepper and its brands, including Sun Drop Citrus Soda. I know this is not the first time this has happened in Indy 500 history but I feel terrible for Bruno and I thank him for his efforts and I hope he understands.”