Third in a series looking at the IZOD IndyCar Series championship season of Ryan Hunter-Reay through various eyes. Today, Beccy Gordon provides insight into her husband’s goals.
After 15 months of marriage, Beccy Gordon has learned a thing or two about her husband, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and we’re not talking about whether he has a proclivity for tracking mud into their Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home.
An inherent respect for the man and his racing abilities and passion has deepened, complementing their love and commitment to each other.
“Half of 2005 and all of 2006 and half of 2007 he was unemployed,” she says. “Ryan was hanging around in garages, testing driving for GM and now it’s ironic that he’s back with Chevy. He never gave up on his dream and that’s what I’m most proud of. He’s never lost sight of his goals, and I think that’s what he can be most proud of.”
Consecutive seventh-place finishes in the championship standings didn’t dissuade Hunter-Reay entering the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season. He had confidence in himself and the No. 28 car crew. He looked forward to working with Marco Andretti and the addition of 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year James Hinchcliffe.
“Coming into the year I said, ‘You have something different going on about you,’ ’’ Beccy says. “He said, ‘I’m going for the championship this year.’ He had this different approach this year that was much more on game. He definitely had the championship in sight and that’s all he cared about.
“Not one step of it was easy. Even when he was winning three in a row it was a lot of work for him.”
Beccy began dating Hunter-Reay in 2004 when he was racing in Champ Car and she was a pit reporter, and is uniquely tuned in to the emotional ups and downs of the sport. The Gordon family has a long history in the motorsports industry, which began with her great-grandfather, Huntly Gordon, who raced Indy cars in the early 1900s. Her father, "Baja Bob" Gordon entered the off-road racing scene in 1977, and her mother, Marlene, pre-ran the Baja 500 when she was seven months pregnant with Beccy. Brother Robby has competed in everything from the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Baja 1000 and Paris to Dakar Rally.
Beccy? She’s an off-road racer who this year competed in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in an electric vehicle.
This peak of earning the first major title of his career is goal realized but not the sole achievement sought by the 31-year-old. With a contract extension with Andretti Autosport, stability within the team and the support of his wife, nothing is out of reach.
“He’s always wanted this and coming into this year he found a home at Andretti,” Beccy adds. “Our whole life has kind of mellowed and found stability,” she says. “We have a routine even when we’re only home for a day or two. He loves his boat; he never leaves the house by car. He’s always either running, cycling or on his boat. It’s his time to turn it off when he gets home and he’s managed that to the best of his ability.
“He has the right sense of getting done everything he needs to get done and chilling out. He’s just a normal kid who likes to go fishing on weekends. That’s what has helped him when he gets to the track, he’s all business. But he’s able to turn it off when he gets home.”