Andretti Autosport has announced that Ryan Hunter-Reay will drive its fourth car in 2010, although his precise programme has still to be finalised.
The deal is thanks to backing from Phillips-Van Heusen and its IZOD brand, which will become the title sponsor for the IndyCar Series in 2010. Currently the American will take in the Indianapolis 500 as well as 'a number of other key series events before and after the month of May'. The total number and location of those races has not yet been decided.
Michael Andretti, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Andretti Autosport, is hopeful that Hunter-Reay will end up doing the full schedule in the #37 IZOD entry.
"We are excited about what we've put together with PVH and Ryan, and believe we can grow this programme substantially over the next several months," Andretti stated.
"We felt it was important to announce what we know and what we've secured, which is a great partnership under the IZOD brand name and a programme that we feel will give Ryan an excellent shot of winning at Indianapolis.
"How far we take him into 2010 is still in the works, but we feel good about the potential that we will add Ryan to our driver line-up for the full season."
Hunter-Reay, who drove for Vision and Foyt in 2009, is excited about the prospects for the coming year.
"Joining a team of Andretti Autosport's caliber has been my goal for the entire 16 years of my racing career and being able to strengthen my ties to everyone at IZOD through this effort is tremendous. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am ready to give 120 percent to the programme," he vowed.
"I have never met a group of people who are more determined to win races, and especially the Indianapolis 500, than the people I am working with at Andretti Autosport. When the folks around you share the same enthusiasm and determination you do the prospect for success is high, which is why, Andretti Autosport is one of the winningest teams in IZOD IndyCar Series history.
"Michael Andretti is as hungry to win races today as he has ever been and it is an honour and a privilege to drive for the same person I looked up to as a young karter.
"Through its entitlement of the IZOD IndyCar Series, IZOD has positioned itself as the biggest supporter of our sport. To personally have IZOD's endorsement as a driver is truly an honour."