RYAN HUNTER-REAY NAMED AS DRIVER OF THE NO. 20 BITNILE.COM CHEVROLET
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Joins Ed Carpenter Racing
(INDIANAPOLIS) June 8, 2023 – Ed Carpenter Racing announced today that Ryan Hunter-Reay will drive the No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Hunter-Reay’s debut for the team will be at next weekend’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America, beginning on Friday, June 16.
Hunter-Reay, recognized as one of the most successful American open wheel racing drivers, brings a wealth of experience to ECR with an INDYCAR career that spans two decades.
“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed. 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,” stated Hunter-Reay.
“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 continued.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based driver is an NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion (2012) with 18 career wins, including a victory in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Hunter-Reay also has multiple overall IMSA sportscar wins, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans among them, has been invited to the Race of Champions five times and has won two ESPY ‘Driver of the Year’ awards (2013 and 2014). Most recently, he competed in the 2023 Indianapolis 500 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, leading eight laps in the closing stages of the race and ultimately finishing 11th.
Team owner Ed Carpenter knows the addition of Hunter-Reay will continue to elevate ECR. “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. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” stated Carpenter. “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.”
Milton “Todd” Ault, III, Executive Chairman of BitNile.com, Inc., stated, “It is great for BITNILE.COM to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”
Since its inception in 2012, ECR has raced exclusively in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The team has shown its versatility by earning eight wins across each style of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and super speedways. ECR boasts 40 Top 5 results to date, 24 of which have been podium finishes. For 11 of the team’s 12 Indianapolis 500s, ECR has had at least one car qualify in the first three rows. An ECR Chevrolet has sat on the front row nine of those years, including three pole positions by Carpenter (2013, 2014 and 2018) and Rinus VeeKay’s second starting position this year.
Hunter-Reay will race alongside VeeKay, driver of the No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet. Team owner Ed Carpenter will round out ECR’s three-car lineup at the oval events in the No. 33 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet. The upcoming race at Road America, Hunter-Reay’s debut with ECR, will be broadcast live on USA Network with coverage starting at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday, June 18.
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