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There have been a lot of big changes in Ryan Hunter-Reay’s life since he won last year’s Honda Indy Toronto.
First, he went on to win the IZOD IndyCar Series championship. And then his first child, a son named Ryden, was born, incredibly, on Dec. 28 — a day that matches his car number and the number he wears as part of his Racing for Cancer fundraising initiative in support of the 28 million people living with cancer worldwide.
As though by design, Hunter-Reay’s most recent win was at the Milwaukee Mile on Father’s Day weekend, where he sat in Victory Lane with his infant son. It marked his first Father’s Day in the most memorable way possible.
“It would be a special story and I knew that going in,” Hunter-Reay says, “but to actually have it come to reality and get pictures of him in DHL victory circle on Father’s Day weekend (DHL is his sponsor), that’s something I’ll remember forever and a memory I’ll cherish.”
Hunter-Reay will have two chances to win again in Toronto this weekend with full-distance, full-points races being run both Saturday and Sunday on the streets of Exhibition Place.
“Toronto’s tough,” he says. “It’s one of my favourite races, but every year it’s just kind of the wild card on who’s going to win.
“And it’s a wild race – usually there’s a lot of beating and banging, rough driving, aggressive driving. With two races this year, I think it will be more of the same.”
However, he knows very well that he’s in an excellent position to pull off another win. He won two of the team’s five victories to date (teammate James Hinchcliffe of Oakville won the others) and is very much in the hunt for a second title.
“So, the good thing is if you’re an Andretti Autosport driver, you know you’ve got a pretty good shot at a podium every weekend.”
- Defending Indy champ Ryan Hunter-Reay signs autographs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis in this May 25 file photo.