RHR, Andretti get their Baby Borgs

0 Comments

The run of accolades continues for 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, as he and team owner Michael Andretti received their Baby Borg-Warner trophies at a ceremony at the Detroit Auto Show.

For Hunter-Reay, this follows on from when his face was revealed on the actual Borg-Warner Trophy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum in December.

They’re two different, distinct ceremonies – each with a different cache – and were equally special to Hunter-Reay.

“They’re two completely separate events really,” Hunter-Reay told MotorSportsTalk in a phone interview. “Seeing my face on the Borg, for years I’ve gone to IMS museum, and seen the faces in awe. It was a pretty emotional moment.

“But now being able to bring home a piece of the 500 win for sure, two very distinctly separate moments. This one, I’m certainly enjoying.”

Added team owner Andretti, “It’s great. This one was really special in a lot of different ways, because one, Ryan has become so close to the family. Two, I was calling his race. Three, it was the first one for Andretti Autosport. To win it the way we did, those last six laps some of the most exciting laps ever run.”

This is Andretti’s third Baby Borg – but the previous two came under the Andretti Green Racing umbrella with Dan Wheldon (2005) and Dario Franchitti (2007). This marks the first since the Andretti Autosport name came into being.

“Both were special with Dan having had our first one, and Dario was a part of the team for a long time. Looking at it here, we both have them on the table, mine (trophy) is bigger than Ryan’s,” Andretti joked.

A size question – whether Hunter-Reay thought the trophy would be bigger or smaller than he anticipated – drew some laughs and a polite “It’s the perfect size, because I get to take it home.”

“I really appreciate Borg-Warner doing this,” Hunter-Reay said. “They’ve supported the sport for so long and led on the legacy. To have my face on the trophy, they give you the same face on the Baby Borg. It’s going front and center in my office at home.”

Photos from the event (Photos by LAT/Borg-Warner) are below.

source:

source:

source:

Kyle Busch interests McLaren for Indy 500, but team is leaning toward experience

McLaren Indy Kyle Busch
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
1 Comment

With Arrow McLaren SP heavily weighing a fourth car for the Indy 500 next year, Kyle Busch is a candidate but not at the top of the IndyCar team’s list.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown addressed the possibility Wednesday morning during a video news conference with Gavin Ward, the team’s newly named racing director.

“I have not personally spoken with Kyle Busch, but you can read into that that someone else in our organization has,” Brown said. “We want to make sure if we run a fourth car, we’re in the mindset that we want someone that is experienced around the 500. It’s such an important race, and from a going for the championship point of view, we’ve got three drivers that we want to have finish as strong as possible, so if we ran a fourth car, we’d want to be additive, not only for the fourth car itself, but to the three cars and so bringing in someone who’s not done it before potentially doesn’t add that value from an experience point of view.”

Busch will race the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing next season in NASCAR under a new deal that will allow the two-time Cup Series champion to make his Indy 500 debut. Busch, who had a previous deal to run the Indy 500 nixed by Joe Gibbs Racing, openly courted Chevy IndyCar teams to contact him during his introductory news conference with RCR last month.

After Team Penske (which has given no indications of a fourth car at Indy alongside champion Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin), McLaren is the second-best Chevy organization, and it’s fielded an extra Indy 500 car the past two years for Juan Pablo Montoya. The Associated Press reported last month that McLaren was in “serious conversation” about running Busch at Indy with Menards sponsorship.

But with its restructured management, the team is in the midst of significant expansion for 2023. AMSP is adding a third full-time car for 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi to team with Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, and a massive new shop also is being built in the Indianapolis area.

“(It’s) not because of him but purely because of experience,” Brown said of Busch. “He’s an awesome talent and would be huge, huge news for the speedway. But yeah, I think everyone is under consideration if we decide to do it, but experience is right at the top of the list as far as what’s going to be the most important to us.”

And it seems likely there will be a veteran joining Rossi, O’Ward and Rosenqvist at the Brickyard.

“A fourth car at the 500 is very much under consideration,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t even want to get ahead of ourselves, but we wouldn’t be ruling out a fourth car in the future on a full-time basis. That definitely wouldn’t be for ’23. But as we expand the team and get into larger facilities and things of that nature, it’s something that Gavin and I have spoken about.

“I think we would be in a position to run a fourth car at the 500 this upcoming year. If we do decide to do that, we’ll make that decision soon for maximum preparation, and I would say we’re open minded to a fourth car in ’24 and beyond and probably will make that decision middle of next year in time to be prepared if we did decide to do that.”

Brown also addressed the future of Alex Palou, who will be racing for Chip Ganassi Racing next season after also signing a deal with McLaren. Though Brown declined to get into specifics about whether Palou had signed a new deal, he confirmed Palou will continue to test “our Formula One car from time to time.

“Everyone has reached an amicable solution,” Brown said. “We’ve now had Alex in our Formula One car as we have Pato. That will continue in the future, which we’re quite excited about. At this point we’re laser-focused on 2023 and glad to have the noise behind us and now just want to put our head down and get on with the job with the three drivers we have.”