Lose-Lose for Hunter-Reay

June 12, 2009
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ryanandtonyRyan Hunter-Reay is jumping from the frying pan into the fire. An Indy Racing League press release today said in a “win-win situation for all involved,” Hunter-Reay is departing Tony George’s Vision Racing team to pilot A.J. Foyt’s car. The deal was finalized last night with a blessing from George, his cash-strapped team with one fewer car to finance.

The deal, however, looks like a lose-lose for Hunter-Reay. I’m sure Izod officials are pleased since Hunter-Reay, the clothing and apparel company’s spokesman, will at least be on the track. But for the man known to fans as RHR, it must seem a long way from where he was last year, piloting a Rahal Letterman car that was competitive enough to find its way to victory lane once.

Hunter-Reay all but said during May that George had him driving a bucket of bolts around the famed Brickyard. Hunter-Reay intimated that George’s other driver (and stepson) Ed Carpenter had much better equipment. He was clearly unhappy.

More than a few motosports insiders were surprised some of Hunter-Reay’s comments didn’t get him sacked. Well, they might have, had George not had Izod’s multi-million dollar league-sponsorship and promotional deal hanging over his head.

In all fairness, Hunter-Reay did take second at this year's season opener at St. Petersburg. But on ovals, where it’s at least as much about the equipment quality as it is about driving skills, Hunter-Reay has stunk.

So now, the Izod cover boy will be driving for A.J. Foyt, who hasn’t fielded a competitive car in, well, a very long time. I’m not even sure Foyt has a full-time engineer on staff. Foyt was last seen pounding out a wing with a dead-blow hammer on IMS’ pit lane. Oh, pardon me, that was 1989. But at least Hunter-Reay can explain to the television audience what went wrong while wearing his Izod hat.

Bobby Rahal, meanwhile, said if he can put a sponsorship package together he’ll be back in the IRL next season. He’s indicated that he’d consider Hunter-Reay to pilot his entry. If that’s the case, certainly Hunter-Reay would gladly tell Foyt “See you later alligator.”
  • say it isn't so.

    TOney spent hundreds of millions of dollars of the family money, to prop up his failure, and now he no longer has access to it. Why is Toney condensing his Visions?

    :popcorn: waiting for mIndy's spin straight from Fred
  • RHR was nothing but a whiner the entire month of May. It really got old real quick.
  • yeah, he shouldn't have expected anything nearing professional equipment from the league of extraordinary wankers. that will teach Izod a lesson as well
  • Look,,,,,,,at,,,,,,my,,,,,,,,blog,,,,,,

    People LIKE me,,,,,,,

    Peace in racing. Just you wait to see what happens on Monday,,,,,,,,,,
  • THIs is getting grater. HOW many drivers says they run with VIsions and FOyt the same year? WOw this is amazing. CAnt be nothing wrong with this. THe IRL gets to keep the IZod and a AMercian driver. ANd TOney gets to focus on makin sure the IRl is winning than just on his team. ANd BObby RAhals comin back next year! SEe you haters the VErsus is working. GIve it time. ITs a ten year deal. HArd to agagione what the IRl will be liek in 10 years. WHooweee
  • The best part in all of this, the constant flames posted here on the IRL/ICS actually drive more hits. Negative posts as they may be, they denote interest, which is what sponsors look for (especially the web variety). Negative interest or not, you are engaged racing fans/non-fans. So keep it up, keep driving hits to IRL/ICS blogs. Spinny spin spin spin....
  • let us see what Izod thinks
  • JoBu, give a list of all those interested sponsors to TOney, he appears to need a few. you people post stoopid stuff
  • I'm sure it will all suck badly but I'll be watching breathlessly every minute anyway. At least during the NASCAR commercials.
  • It's actually pretty easy to understand SSD. For instance, every time you click on this blog you are generating hits to IBJ and its advertisers. All of which benefit by printing IRL/ICS stories they know flames will comment on. Pretty simple concept. Positive or negative it generates clicks & readers. BOOM!
  • This is grate. Minus 1 on the crapwagon count, and utter denial from the Hulmanistas, trying to spin the fact that the 'league' is the most hated entity in the history of motorized transport into some sort of positive interest. :lol:

    I'm positively interested in this outright fraud ceasing in permanence.

    And tell the IBJ advertisers, whoever they are, I don't see them. Firefox with adblock rocks. Regardless, the worldwide disgust and contempt at that effer TG and his 'league' is most certainly not a positive, and anyone who would try to sell a product based on the kind of hate the earl engenders should not be employed in any capacity at all. Anywhere. Ever. :D

    Foyt's scheissewaagens are bigger deathtraps than the Vishun junk. RHR should book a room at Methodist. Or Conkles.
  • you mean sponsors look for posts like this one from an IRl fanboy:

    Yeah, but IZOD's money doesn't going into the deal (they put it on the car out of loyalty), it goes into those stupid commercials.
  • Does anyone really think _TG is still in charge at IMS? This is hilarious. I can't wait till Special Ed gets fired. Or farmed out. Or reassigned.
  • Does anyone really think _TG is still in charge at IMS?

    Perhaps he should form an alliance with the other team owners and try to get a series together that isn't beholden to IMS for its existence. You know, where more than one event has a decent crowd, maybe some tv ratings, that sort of thing. :lol:
  • RHR has a right to be unhappy at Visionless. He'll be even more unhappy at Foyt's 1970's era outfit. Both teams are junk and have no idea what they are doing. Vision exists for Carpenter, who is not Indy Car-grade material and never will be. He is playing Indy Car driver. And Foyt's is a nostalgia team. AJ had his moment in '99 and should have quit right then. And even that win was gifted to him by the talented Robby Gordon handicapped by his overall immaturity and unitelligence.

    RHR and Vitor will be lucky to land IRL seats next season and will do so only if someone is injured or cannot produce expected cash and even then they will probably be Riced out and Yasakawaed into memory.
  • Keep on posting & keep on reading. You guy's post more than the IRL lovers. Click, click, click. Type, type, type. Keep mentioning IZOD, Apex Brasil, HER, etc. etc. Keep reading IBJ. And keep mocking the fans, it wouldn't be as enjoyable without you. Cheers, and enjoy the weekend. You should, there's no race. Oh wait, no race, nothing new to gripe about.

    Oh, and to whoever it is that keeps posting the NHL as proof viewers know how to find Vs. That's a brand Vs. has spent a considerable amount of time and $ promoting, and certainly isn't in it's first season with Vs. It's called building a brand, something IBJ readers and business savvy individuals should be familiar with. Nice of you all to give Vs. a legitimate chance to grow the brand of IndyCar (whether you love or hate the league). When Vs. took over Hockey, no one was watching, in fact, they weren't even sure they were going to continue to have an NHL.

    I have probably watched a grand total of 3 hockey matches in my life....but I'm watching now (on NBC). Funny though, having watched IndyCar programming on Vs. one would think I would feel compelled to watch hockey on their network (based on your logic). I'm guessing it works in the reverse. Those that tune in for the NHL really aren't feeling compelled to come back for IndyCar, it's not their thing. But the thing is, it's a sports network, and over time YOU WILL get crossover fans. Hell, I may even watch a hockey match on Vs. next year, I'm definitely enjoying the match tonight. WOOT.
  • Where oh where are Berwick girl and Indyboi to spin this?
    Did you gals finally get it when the sisters took Tony's balls away?
    I am loving every minute of this and am patiently waiting for the sisters to pull the plug once and for all.r
  • The word I am hearing is that if Danica goes to NASTYCAR, the 2010 IRL season will be held, but with as few as 10 races. Fewer races for 2011 with the plug pulled either directly after Indy or at season's end.

    All the race contracts have an exit clause essentially saying if the IRL chooses to end a race agreement it can do so at any time and vice-versa. Even the 500.

  • Where is the ChampCar race next weekend?

    Oh, that's right, it's in Gerry's basement with slot cars!
  • In my entire life, I have never witnessed as large a group of truly pitiable people as have collected in this thread.

    Get a life.
  • No kidding, and the despicable Metcalfe has become the leader with his continued pithy comments.
  • CF14, how much money have you won betting on AJ's team in the past 10 years?

    How long will Helen Keller Racing be around for Carpenter?
  • At least you know Dale. I could go down to Monument Circle and ask one hundred people where the next IndyCrapSeries race is and no one would know.
  • I'd take a Champ Car race at Mt. Tremblant over that abortion at Texas last week anyday.

    You must really be out of excuses when the only thing you can come up with is CCWS bankruptcy. The only reason the IRL isn't bankrupt is because of Tony's inheritance. KK and Co. and CART didn't have silver spoons up their butts. And TG's just got ripped out. I can't wait for the IRL to be gone. Good riddance.
  • After Tony

    Who’s going to run IMS? Murphy hears it will be a prominent Indianapolis criminal defense attorney. To oversee marketing, a former Gamecock lineman will come out of retirement.
  • http://www.vzphmlaw.com/Voyles_Zahn_Paul_Hogan_&_Merriman/James_H._Voyles,_Jr..html

  • Word also is, and I cannot verify with anyone but word is out of the corner of W. 16th Street and Gomertown Rd, the Hulman-George Family intends to sell the IMS after the 2011 500. The proceeds would be given to the grandchildren in the form of a trust and the deal will stipulate the family receives an annual stipend based on somehow or other owning and maintaining the rights to the copyrighted names. I don't know the details beyond that. Special Ed and everybody are essenntially set for life now, but this guarantees that without further losses.The deal supposedly includes a requirement that IMS maintains the 500 as an Indy Car race, run as always in May, and with some sort of quasi-governmental oversight to maintain the traditions and heritage of the place. In other words, lots of controls and oversight and licensing agreements in place, but plenty of profit too for a shrewd and succussful racing business. We'll see what develops. RM and the like do not report this because it is all in development. Let's just say a Hulman-George grandkid, slightly buzzed at an Indy eatery a few weeks back told me this, and that kid is releived because he wants no part of running a racing entity of any sort.

    Mark my words: IMS is sold in two years time. The 500 goes on as usual, maybe even better.
  • Mark my words: IMS is sold in two years time. The 500 goes on as usual, maybe even better.

    One can only hope.
  • Gee, that wasn't Tony Junior was it? :lol:
  • Izod isn't paying anything to be on a car above and bryond the pittance they pay to be the Official Tacky Clothing of the IRL. RHR has some personal sponsorship from them, and they merely stipulate that he gets a ride in exchange for their marketing money.

    If danica were to go to NASCAR or, god forbid, US F1, the IRL loses about 2/3 of their advertising revenue right away. Not good for the struggling series. They have nothing to blame their failure on now. CART/CC is gone. NASCAR is no longer the 800lb gorilla, the ABC contract that so many IRL'istas derided is pretty much irrelevent now.

    The IRL has saddled itself with most of it's races on a niche cable channel (Not that they had a choice, nobody else was beating down the doors to televise anything but the 500). It also still has little name recogniton, besides Danica, and she's turning out to be a one hit wonder.

    As for the Speedway being sold, that would be the only thing that saves it. Look for the Indy500 and a 6 or 7 race series surrounding it, mainly at Road/Street courses, as that's the only thing getting the IRL any eyeballs. Indy, Long Beach, Mid-Ohio, Texas, Chicago, A Canadian race and kansas
  • Meanwhile, the team owners are plotting
  • And the haters are grinning.
  • Metcalfe,

    I was doing what you guys obviously can't, having a life. While you were posting about a series you hate on a Friday night, I was enjoying dinner at a boat up restaurant with friends. Then spent the whole day yesterday out on the lake, not getting home till midnight. Now after perusing what the TG/IRL haters are up to, I will be spending the rest of the afternoon pool side (go away clouds) at a friends house for a cookout.

    I am sure you guys will still be here rattling off your hate filled tirades about a series you hate, because you have nothing better to do. Sad really.
  • There's the hate word again. Maybe if you use it enough you will begin to believe it. Hate is a buzz word used by fringe groups who try to mainstream their bizzare or twisted behavior. Hate is mainly used to describe Conservative Republicans, those who support traditional marriage, and those who don't support everything premier Obama is doing. As I have said, I have been trained only to hate the enemies of the United States who I took an oath to defend. I feel sorry for the dysfunctional Hulman George clan, they are a pathetic bunch of losers. I am only saddened by what has become of OW racing under Mr. George and how far the once greatest Spectacle in Racing has fallen under his vision.
  • and after it is all said and done, you'll all meet up in hell
  • Sad???? Is that what people who are beholden to Toney call spending 15 years and $600 million to destroy a sport? The rest of us call it pathetic. People who know the sisters call them mad as hell.
  • for all you indycar fans, a little treat

  • Berwickgirl and Indyboi got their feelings hurt. WAAAAAAA!
    You girls just keep crying and get used to it.
    You love sucky racing and the rest of us normal people don't.
    The life you claim to have can't be much if you are responding to me.
    Good work Count, Da Hooey etc.
  • JoBu, is this the sort of post sponsors are eager to see?

    Hopefully the stupid 'everything's gonna be alright' IZOD commercial will be history soon.
  • Hate seems to be the perfect word. The amount of venom spewed by the IRL/TG haters against TG, the IRL or anyone who speaks positively of either has to be hate. You cannot read these posts and say these people are saddened or dislike, there is real hate there.

    Sorry Alan, I don't get my feelings hurt that easy. If I did, I would never have stuck around as long as I have on these boards.
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  • Let's see; TOney sends a paying driver off to another team; cuts his program in half; and won't send his leftover team to any of the test sessions last week. One might come to the conclusion that his access to a family fortune may have been cut off. One might also conclude that TOney doesn't have much faith in his visions as long as he would have to pay for them. LOL
  • Oh and don't believe iman's explanation for his weekend; he was at the Speedway helping TOney clean out his former office.
  • Interesting theories, should we file these along with the shooter on the grassy knoll and Roosevelt having knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor?
  • How about Bush and Cheney not only having knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, but having culpability? Which they did.
  • Oh great, now Count Racula is not only a supposed team owner, but he's also privy to top secret information known only to key people in the former Bush Administration, the CIA, and perhaps the FBI. Wow, what a guy. Quite the know-it-all, don't you think?

    By the way, I would have taken that comment as your alledged sarcasm had you not thrown in that comment which they did. Perhaps you didn't think anyone would believe you unless you made that comment in an attempt to certify your accusation. More bogus......
  • no need to mix present day reality with age old conspiracies.
  • Al you place fans who bought up that Izod gear, raise your hands.

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