2012 INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay will take over the No. 20 Bitnile.com Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing starting at the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR on June 18, team officials announced June 8.
Hunter-Reay succeeds Conor Daly, who parted company with the team June 7 by mutual agreement.
“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past, and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.
“This will certainly be a challenge for me, as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”
Hunter-Reay, 42, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last competed full time in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2021, the final of 12 consecutive seasons with Andretti Autosport. He won the season title in 2012 and “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2014 with that team. “RHR” has 18 career INDYCAR SERIES victories.
Road America will mark the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES start of the season for Hunter-Reay. He qualified 18th and finished 11th in a strong run in the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, including leading eight laps late in the race.
Hunter-Reay brings a vast amount of successful experience to ECR. Besides his INDYCAR SERIES and Indy 500 success, Hunter-Reay has multiple overall IMSA sports car victories, including the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. He also has been invited to the prestigious Race of Champions five times and won the ESPY “Driver of the Year” award in 2013 and 2014.
“We need to improve our competitiveness, and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader,” team owner Ed Carpenter said. “I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team. We have worked together in the past as teammates, and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test.
“I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”
Hunter-Reay will race alongside Rinus VeeKay, driver of the No. 21 Bitnile.com Chevrolet. Team owner Carpenter will round out ECR’s three-car lineup at the oval events in the No. 33 Bitnile.com Chevrolet.