Chevrolet Indycar at Indianapolis: Ryan Hunter-Reay Media Day Press Conference Transcript

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, driver of the No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold with Cusick Motorsports Chevrolet, met with the media on Indianapolis 500 Media Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Press Conference Transcript:

Starting 12th, in Row 4, the 2014 winner of the Indianapolis 500, returning this year to drive the No. 23 VensureHR Chevrolet for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with Cusick Motorsports, Ryan Hunter-Reay.

THE MODERATOR: Two-hour practice tomorrow, then Sunday. How good are both your cars?

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: We made some really good headway on Monday. I was pretty happy with it. This track changes so much with the conditions. The conditions on Monday were about as bad as you could get. It was a bit windy, really hot. Track temp was through the roof. If track temp comes down a little bit, I think it might actually make everybody a little bit better. I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

Yeah, pretty happy with the car at the end of the session, just in time. Yeah, looking forward to Carb Day. Looks like weather is maybe cooperating at the moment.

Q. Ryan, obviously with this being your first race of the season, how do you go about approaching the Indianapolis 500 when you know it’s going to kick off your year?

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Yeah, I mean, it’s something we focus on all year long. Coming back with a team that really just focuses on this race.

Our viewpoints and our focus are aligned in that regard, so it’s cool. It’s really cool to be able to be at the shop in March and see the car I’m going to run sitting there with all the body fit and all that stuff.

Yeah, I don’t know, I mean, I’ve got a lot of experience preparing for this race. I know the things I need to push in the off-season, the things I need to push two months out, a month out. Just go through that process.

It’s always an absolute pleasure being on track here, being here during the month of May. It’s an absolute privilege. Feel very thankful every time I have the opportunity.

Q. Does it feel like the preparation for the Indy 500, jumping right in, is that made any easier given your experience and your success here?

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Yeah, for sure. With the experience over years comes a lot that I can rely on and a lot that I can lean on. Yeah, absolutely it helps.

Like these guys are right in the middle of race season fit. They’re in it, racing week in and week out. There’s a little bit of catch-up to do on that side.

Q. Ryan, this might be a really dumb question, but I think back to last year when you were running a little bit with ECR. Looking at this Indy 500 opportunity, what do you want for your career right now? Do you want the one-offs at Indy? Convert a good result into more opportunities?

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: No, I think as far as INDYCAR goes, it’s the one-offs at Indy, yep, absolutely, 100%. From there, working on some potential things in the future. I’ve just been so focused on this, I haven’t really been shopping much around.

On the IMSA side, I had a great home at Mazda, that whole program disintegrated, shut down. I was at Ganassi in the Cadillac. That program split. I went to WEC. They wanted drivers that had WEC experience because of the intricacies of that series.

In with Ganassi, Dixon wasn’t going to be in the car, I was going to be in it, then last minute Scott came back in. It’s been one thing or another on that side of it. I hope to get it into some more IMSA races soon. It’s also been really nice being able to be there raising my kids.

Q. Ryan, this is Reinbold’s 25th 500. As being a one-off team, seems like he’s kind of the at the top of the game. Reflect on the DRR team being a one-off team, what they bring to the 500 each year.

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: First of all, Dennis’ passion for this race is second to none. That’s really cool. That drives a lot of the motivation in the team.

The guys on the team, the crew and everything, they’ve been with all the biggest teams, all the big ones. I’ve worked with a lot of them in the past. They really enjoy focusing on Indy like that.

It’s a quality group of people. This is what really their year revolves around. Yes, they have the Rallycross side of it, all that they do, which they do a really good job at obviously. For big-time, top-level stuff, this is it. This is the one they really focus on. It means the world to them. It means the world to me. It’s a good fit.