12 June 2009

This Should Please Tony George's Sisters

If the true reason for telling Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George that he must reevaluate his commitments to IMS and the IndyCar Series was because of the Hulman-George family's concerns over money, then the news that Ryan Hunter-Reay will drive for A.J. Foyt Racing for the remainder of the season must be greeted with smiles.

Vision Racing, owned by Tony George, will now suspend operations for the No. 21 car immediately, which will save the team (and George family) money. Sponsorship for Hunter-Reay's car never developed, aside from Hunter-Reay's personal sponsorship from Izod. And after his podium performance at St. Petersberg, the team struggled, culminating in a lack of speed and crash at Indianapolis.

With Izod in tow, Hunter-Reay will join the iconic Foyt Racing Team and provide a permanent solution to the absence of Vitor Meira for the remainder of the season. Meira, for his part, hopes to be back for the season finale at Homestead.

Hunter-Reay pushes aside Paul Tracy, who drove at Milwaukee, and A.J. Foty IV, who drove at Texas. Born in Texas, Hunter-Reay will look to boost the performance of Foyt Racing, while leaving open the possibility of returning to Vision Racing in the future:

"We all have the big picture in mind for Vision's future, and that is not only to find our way to Victory Circle but for Vision to have a program that is capable of challenging for the championship. As competitive as the Indy Racing League is today, those goals require a strong commitment not only by the team but also by sponsors and partners.

"In the very short time I have been at Vision their efforts in developing sponsorship and B2B opportunities have yielded positive results which have laid a strong foundation we intend to build on. Knowing what I know today, I am optimistic of continuing with Vision in 2010 with a strong program."

Basically, two birds are killed with one stone here: first, Foyt gets a permanent solution for losing Meira. Second, Vision Racing saves money on a car that brought in no outside money and Tony George keeps the face of the IndyCar-Izod relationship in the IndyCar Series on a competitive team. The downside comes in the fact that the ICS loses one of its cars.

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