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Q&A: Ryan Hunter-Reay.

It's the first night race of the season. How do you spend your time during the day when the on‑track activities start so late?

RH-R
Well, the frustrating thing about night races is your schedule still doesn't change. You still get up at 8:30 or whatever it is. So you're just up that much longer. I definitely prefer the late afternoon races. But Texas is an awesome show at night, and the fans love it. It looks great on TV when you get the sparks coming off the bottom of the cars. It's a great event. You know, middle of the day you catch up on stuff you've been behind on, like emails from the month of May. I've got a lot of catch‑up work to do, that's for sure. I'll probably get some of that done.

Q:
When you race under the lights, how different is it from the driver perspective? Are there things that you have to do or be aware of that are different than a race during the day?

RH-R
Surprisingly not. Once you get used to it, it's pretty straightforward. Everything looks a little different. It's just different. It's not better, it's not worse, it's just different. There's nothing that I do differently. It doesn't affect my vision or anything in any way like that. It makes the cars look a lot faster to the vantage point of the fans.

Q:
I know you consider yourself a Floridian, but you were born in the Dallas area. Do you feel any special connection to Texas?

RH-R
I was there for such a short amount of time. I do feel some connection, but I couldn't tell you how to get around downtown, so I guess that makes me really not a local. I was there for a short amount of time. I consider myself more from Florida, South Florida.

Q:
After Texas, we head to Iowa and Richmond. You touched on that briefly a little bit. The two shortest tracks on the schedule, but tracks that race very differently from each other. Just tell us a little about preparing for and competing at each of those tracks.

RH-R
I had a lot of fun in Iowa last year. We went into the race, everybody was thinking it's going to be some procession. Nobody's going to be able to race side-by-side. For some reason we got into the racing. It was a great show. Good racetrack. Short, very short, but it made for good racing. Richmond, on the other hand, that's a tough little place on your own when you're just qualifying or whatever it may be on your own around that little bull ring in IndyCar. You get all these cars out there. And these cars are so aero-dependent, it makes for tough passing, and that's a bit unfortunate on an oval when you get into a tough position where you're trying to pass, because we're trying to put on a good show. Richmond's an interesting little place. It's definitely challenging from a driving perspective I just don't think we put on the best show there.

Q:
You had hint at Watkins Glen. That's only four races away. Almost one month exactly from today where you got your first IndyCar Series win last year. How special will it be to go back there?

RH-R
Well that track's always been a special place for me, just because I grew up racing Skip Barber cars there, a beautiful, beautiful area. Spent a lot of time up there in summers when I was there with Skip Barber. And that track's got so much history. It's a former F1 track. To get my first win, my first IndyCar win, there was a big deal, especially with the timing of that. My mom was just recently diagnosed with cancer at that time. And to be able to get a win under the circumstances and just how it all fell into place on 4 July weekend, it was great. Not to mention also that was our first weekend with IZOD, and they took that big billboard in Times Square. So it was a cool time period. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to Watkins Glen.

Q:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryan Hunter-Reay - Vision Racing   [pic credit: IRL]
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates pole position in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads Sebastien Bourdais during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads James Hinchcliffe during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay around the fountain turn during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Helio astroneves celebrate on the podium. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Helio astroneves celebrate on the podium. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe at St Petersburg. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe at St Petersburg. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Will Power, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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