Last weekend, stars from the last three decades of IndyCar history gathered at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix for a roundtable discussion.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 Verizon IndyCar champion and 2014 Indy 500 winner, sat with Tom Sneva (winner of the 1983 Indy 500), Arie Luyendyk (1990 and ’97) and Dario Franchitti (2007, ’10 and ’12) for the discussion that was moderated by 1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Lyn St. James.
At one point Hunter-Reay shared the story of how he came to love racing when he attended a CART race in Miami.
“I remember pressing my cheek up against a fence for the first time ever at an Indy car race in Miami and feeling one of those cars go by,” Hunter-Reay said according to IndyCar.com. “That’s when it hit me. That was it. I remember the chills going down my back. Being a kid, these guys were my superheroes.”
Sneva told of an exchange he had with the media in 1978 after becoming the first driver to complete a four-lap qualifying attempt for the Indy 500 at more than 200 mph. He had been asked how he spent his afternoon while waiting for qualifying to end.
“I told him I was at (Jim) Hurtubise’s garage talking with the consumption engineer,” Sneva said. “These (media) guys are writing this down and are pretty serious. Finally, one guy asks, ‘What’s a consumption engineer?” and I said, ‘Well, that’s the bartender.’”
You can read more about the roundtable discussion at IndyCar.com