12.6.12 – Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, who clinched the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship in a season-finale showdown at Auto Club Speedway in September, will showcase the honors that come with being the champion by running the No. 1 on his DHL Chevrolet for the 2013 season.
“It is a huge honor to have earned the right to run the No. 1,” said Hunter-Reay. “All of us at Andretti Autosport see this as a tremendous opportunity to leverage our sponsors, brands and message for 2013 and beyond. We certainly do not underestimate the task, and I assure you we are already hard at work and will do everything possible to earn the right to carry the No. 1 in future years as well.”
For the past two seasons Hunter-Reay adopted the No. 28 in honor of the 28 million people living with cancer worldwide. Through his work with Racing for Cancer, an organization he helped co-found, and LIVESTRONG Hunter-Reay has strived to create awareness for the cause.
“The decision to switch to the No. 1 for the 2013 season was very tough. The No. 28 has so much meaning to so many,” Continued Hunter-Reay, “but we recognized that our team, partners and sponsors have all earned the right to carry the No. 1 – we worked hard together and it’s something they all deserve. Racing for Cancer’s number one goal is to beat cancer and we realized that running the No. 1 with the No. 28 incorporated into the design, a very important detail to me personally, would provide us with an opportunity to strengthen the message and cause of beating cancer while at the same time recognizing our partners and sponsors dedication to excellence on, and off, the track.”
Hunter-Reay, the first American-born champion since 2006, also now becomes the first American to carry the No. 1 in the same number of years. The championship-rights number was last run by American and namesake to Andretti Autosport, Michael Andretti. Andretti drove the No. 1 at the 2006 Indianapolis 500 as the entry representing the defending race winner (Dan Wheldon claimed Indy 500 victory in 2005, driving for then Andretti Green Racing). Sebastien Bourdais was the last driver to run the No. 1 in 2007, under Champ Car World Series sanctioning.
Hunter-Reay, the most successful American driver currently in Indy car competition, joined Andretti Autosport in 2010 and captured the team’s first win (Grand Prix of Long Beach) since Andretti took sole ownership of the team. He is the only driver to earn wins in IndyCar, CART, Champ Car, ALMS and Grand-AM.
Hunter-Reay unveiled the No. 1 DHL Chevy yesterday at the team’s Indianapolis race shop. The 2013 liveries of teammates Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe were also unveiled at this time.