Chat with Ryan Hunter-Reay
Hunter-Reay's career-best finishes of 7th in the points standings came in 2010 and 2011.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, we'll be diving into IndyCar when current points leader Ryan Hunter-Reay stops by to chat about this weekend's race (Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET, ABC) at Mid-Ohio.
Hunter-Reay, @RyanHunterReay, had his streak of three straight wins snapped in IndyCar's last race July 22 in Edmonton. His three wins on the season tie him with Will Power for the most this year and they double his win total for his career.
The Texan owns a 23-point lead over second-place Helio Castroneves and a 26-point lead over Will Power in third.
Send your questions now and join Hunter-Reay Thursday at 3:15 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:10 PM)
IndyCar points leader Ryan Hunter-Reay will be here at 3:15 p.m. ET to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (3:14 PM)
Ryan is here!
Shawn (Erie Michigan)
Is Mid Ohio a more challenging race than Edmonton?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:16 PM)
I think Mid Ohio will be more challenging in a few ways. The two tracks are so different. Edmonton presents an issue in breaking and rear tire preservation. Mid Ohio is a constant flow and a very physical race. As tight as we saw the field in Edmonton, I think it will be even tighter here. That will put a premium on qualifying. But at the same time, I think the new car will allow us to pass more than last year's car. In Mid Ohio it's always challenging and with the weather, it will be a tough ride.
How's the fish tank doing?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:17 PM)
The fish tank is doing great. The folks at Living Color have been keeping it up while we're on the road. They did an awesome job of it. It's the part of our house that doesn't get old for us. As I mentioned on the show, it's the focal point of our home.
Grace (Kansas City)
How deep is the competition in the field right now? Best you have ever seen?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:18 PM)
Absolutely it's the best I've ever seen it. It's amazing that week in week out you get different challengers up front. That's the thing about IndyCar you really don't know one week to the next who can win. If you look at the talent, it's amazing how deep it goes. If you make one mistake in qualifying, you don't find yourself 6-7 like in years past, you find yourself 16-17.
Chris Pierce (Westfield, IN)
Can you and the Andretti guy keep the momentum and hold off the Penske duo for the title?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:19 PM)
I absolutely think we can. It's a matter of executing now. We have four races left. We think we can get the job done if we nail the setup and I get out there and nail the driving part of it. It's consistency. It will be a nailbiter of a finish. There could be four cars in the mix by the end.
what kind of race should we expect in Ohio?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:20 PM)
Well, it's tough to say, because in Edmonton, we were betting on yellows and restarts. With a track that has some corners, you think it would have that. In Ohio, it could go green the whole time again. We expect to qualify well and put ourselves in a position to win. I think we'll see more passing than in years past.
James (Rochester, NY)
What is one of the challenges of the new race car that you are racing?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:21 PM)
There are quite a few challenges. The biggest one that I see is every track we go to it's the first time with this car. This car likes different setup characteristics than the last car. We have to find our way and find our way through the weekend as the track changes. It's tough to stay on top of it. You almost have to stay ahead of the game.
Dana Williams (Muncie, Indiana)
What was the most strategic decision you made throughout the season so far? Any times when you had to decide to push or hold back when you wanted to do the opposite?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:23 PM)
I think how we approach the tire wear situation and preservation in Milwaukee and Iowa were critical. I learned a lot from Michael on that. We weren't the fastest car, but when it mattered the most at the end, we were the quickest car on the track.
Susan Gomez (Franklin, Tennessee)
Ryan, Sebastian Saavedra said he wanted to return Andretti Autosport to its 'glory years' when it was winning championships in Firestone Indy Lights. Is that a big motivator for you as well in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:24 PM)
It's certainly a motivator for us to bring it back to what it once was, but this is a completely different series than what it was 4-5 years ago. I think this is a more difficult time than it was 5-6 years ago. We have our work cut out for us, but we have the right attitude, right chemistry. I think it's possible with the three teammates and teams working together that we can bring Andretti back to championship level status. But we have our work cut out for us. It's not just Penske and Ganassi that could ruin the party.
Cal (Naughton, Jr.)
Do drivers generally like the movie "Talladega Nights" or do they think it is dumb?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:25 PM)
I thought it was hilarious. I'm a huge Will Ferrell fan too. I thought it was pretty good. I'm all for it.
Quigley (Kansas City)
Of the three wins this season, which do you feel was the most important?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:26 PM)
I feel like Iowa was the most rewarding win. I don't know why that was, I just do. We really went back and forth on what set up to use before the race. I really stuck to my gut feeling on it. The way we conserved the tires and had patience. Seeing it all come out in the end was a big lesson for me.
Ryan, what's the one thing you really like about the new car and what's the one thing (besides lack of horsepower) that you think the new car needs to be improved?
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:28 PM)
One thing I really like about it is the downforce we're able to go through some of these corners. In Ohio, we have higher corner speeds than last year. It takes a higher commitment from the driver. As for what I think could be changed, I think we could work tweak the makeup a little bit. She's a pretty car, but it could be tweaked.
Savraj (United Kingdom)
Hi Ryan, how do you think Fontana will drive like? IndyCar hasn?t raced on that style of track since Michigan. Does Will Power?s lack of results on ovals give you extra confidence? I?m rooting for you!
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:29 PM)
It's really tough to say. I've put some thought into that and I don't know. I didn't expect Texas to drive like it did and this will be a different aero package. I'm totally looking forward to finding out.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (3:36 PM)
Thanks so much for all of the support. Be ready for a tight IndyCar championship to the end. We're giving it 110% to take the title away from the Ganassi team.