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Full AJ Foyt press release on Andretti deal

The full text of the press release put out by AJ Foy Racing, announcing that Bruno Junquiera has been dropped from the #41 car in favour of Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay.
It was announced late on Monday that Andretti Autosport had reached a deal with AJ Foyt Racing to put Ryan Hunter-Reay, one of their two drivers bumped from the Indy 500 at the end of Sunday, into the #41 car already qualified for the race by Bruni Junqueira.

Below is the press release issues by AJ Foyt Racing confirming the deal. You can also read the crash.net story about the deal here.

Difficult times make for hard choices. Both AJ Foyt and Michael Andretti made some hard choices in the past 24 hours which will result in Ryan Hunter-Reay replacing Bruno Junqueira in AJ Foyt's No. 41 Dallara/Honda in the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.

When Marco Andretti bumped his way back into the field in the final minute of qualifying on Bump Day, his successful run booted teammate Hunter-Reay from the race. Faced with the prospect of disappointing his major sponsors, Andretti looked to Foyt at the suggestion of Hunter-Reay, who had driven for Foyt in 2009.

Foyt had helped out Hunter-Reay in the past when Tony George's team closed its doors leaving Hunter-Reay without a ride. Foyt hired him to replace regular ABC Supply driver Vitor Meira who was sidelined for the season after his accident at Indy that year. Meira returned to Foyt for 2010 and Hunter-Reay landed a ride with the Andretti Autosport team.

AJ Foyt cast a new light on the famed Foyt-Andretti rivalry which sparked some of the best battles on the track and most colorful remarks off of it.

"We've been competitors for many years but still it's the kind of relationship when someone is really down and out, you can't turn your back on them--at least I can't," said Foyt, whose fulltime driver Vitor Meira will start 11th in the No. 14 ABC Supply car. "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."

Junqueira was philosophical about the driver switch, noting that he enjoyed his brief experience working with the Foyt team. He said, "I have to thank AJ, Larry and the team for giving me this opportunity to drive at Indy this year because otherwise I would have been riding my bike in Miami. I always respected AJ before, but after working with him, I respect him even more. He has a lot of knowledge and I learned a lot from him. I had a great time working with him and Vitor, and I hope my work helped them this month. I also hope the team has a great race."

Hunter-Reay, who has experienced both the highs and lows of a sport dependent on corporate sponsorship, said, "There has been an incredible range of emotion these past few days. 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. It's cool to be driving for AJ again, especially with Michael's support and encouragement. This is not how I envisioned the month of May this year but we are still committed to winning this race for DHL and Sun Drop."

Hunter-Reay, the winningest American driver currently competing in Indy car racing, joined the Andretti Autosport family in advance of the 2010 season and immediately broke through with a popular win at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - giving Michael Andretti his first win as the sole team owner. He went on to have a successful year laying claim to 12 top-ten finishes in 17 starts. Hunter-Reay extended the Andretti relationship with a two-year contract that will take him through the 2012 season. The 2008 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, will make his fourth Indianapolis 500 start in Sunday's running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

"I can't thank AJ and his team enough for giving us an opportunity to put Ryan, DHL, Sun Drop and our other valued sponsors in the Indy 500," said Michael Andretti, team owner of Andretti Autosport. "Obviously, this is a unique circumstance for our team, but the thought of AJ Foyt joining forces with the Andrettis for the Indy 500 could result in something special. It's a credit to AJ for being willing to help us with one of our full-season IndyCar entries at a time when we need it."

According to the rules, the driver switch will move the No. 41 car to the back of the 33-car field.

Dated Monday, May 23 at 6pm ET



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bruno Junqueria and Vitor Meira in conversation during practice on Thursday, May 19 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media]
Ryan Briscoe (left), driver of the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, talks with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, during qualifying Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Briscoe qualified fourth, Kanaan second and teammate Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 won the pole. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay sits in his car during a rain delay at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits on pitlane prior to practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay with an early pit stop during the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves leads Ryan Briscoe (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag as he races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates posting the fastest time Saturday, July 5, 2014 during qualifying for Sunday`s Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates posting the fastest time Saturday, July 5, 2014 during qualifying for Sunday`s Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Jack Hawksworth and Marco Andretti cross the start/finish line during practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory in the IndyCar Firestone 600 Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Takuma Sato, AJ Foyt, Larry Foyt, and the A.J. Foyt Enterprises team with the Verizon P1 Award (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Takuma Sato and AJ Foyt with the Verizon P1 Award flag for their pole for Race 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Saturday, May 31, 2014 after winning the first Chevrolet Indy Dual In Detroit race of the weekend on Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay exits Turn 2 during practice for the Chevrolet Dual In Detroit (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
The finish of the 2014 Indy 500 (Photo by: Walter Kuhn for IndyCar Media)

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Frank G

May 24, 2011 3:17 AM
Last Edited 1145 days ago

Ridiculous... Even though the rules permit this it is ridiculous... If it were the same team, maybe... but this? AJ, hope you read this... hope you feel ashamed of yourself! Boooooooooooooooo

chasmunch

May 24, 2011 1:12 AM

hey, I've got money!...how much for that seat?...sounds like somebody was cryin' and raisin' a ruckus... and he get's to use the re advertised car Bruno qualified.... man, i'd feel pretty sheepish lining up like that...boohooboohooboohoo, and just a loud BOOO



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