Indy 500 Champ Ryan Hunter-Reay Mugs for Borg-Warner Trophy
IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay says this was always his dream.
“Driving an IndyCar at the Indy 500 and one day possibly even getting a chance to compete for a chance at being on this trophy,” he mused, “and here it is—reality.”
Wednesday night at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, the Borg-Warner trophy was unveiled, sporting the newly minted likeness of the 2014 Indy 500 champion. Hunter-Reay’s image is the 101st to be mounted on the trophy, which includes 99 other driver visages and the face of former track owner Tony Hulman.
“That’s what the Indianapolis 500 is all about,” Hunter-Reay said at the unveiling. “This is the greatest racetrack in the world, and I’m just honored to be a part of it and amongst the list of names of the legends of our sport here. I’m humbled to even be in their company.”
And his reaction to seeing his face on the trophy?
“This really brings it home.”
The trophy, however, he does not get to bring home. Recently appraised at $3.5 million, the 110-pound, 5-foot-4 ¾-inch sterling-silver trophy—commonly referred to as the greatest in all of sports—resides permanently at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Indy 500 winners get a replica trophy affectionately known as a “Baby Borg.”
As much as the prize is worth in dollars, though, for the chosen few having a lasting legacy at IMS is priceless.
“It’s amazing,” said Hunter-Reay. “I’ll be able to bring my kids and my family back here for as long as I’m alive and show them what was achieved here.”
As he wraps up a memorable 2014, the Texas native says he and his team are looking forward to 2015 and the chance to do something even fewer drivers have ever achieved—multiple victories at the Indianapolis 500.
“I’ll do my absolute best to wave that American flag high.”
Indy sports nut Heather Lloyd weighs in on all things Pacers and Colts on her blog, The Blue Mare.