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Indianapolis 500 2012 Preview: Ryan Hunter-Reay Wants To Eliminate Recent History

Ryan Hunter-Reay has not had a good recent history in the Indianapolis 500. Can he turn his fortunes around in 2012?

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - APRIL 28:  Ryan Hunter-Reay, drives the #28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet during practice for the Sao Paulo Indy 300 on April 28, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - APRIL 28: Ryan Hunter-Reay, drives the #28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet during practice for the Sao Paulo Indy 300 on April 28, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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Fort Lauderdale, Fla.'s own Ryan Hunter-Reay's first race in the Indianapolis 500 in 2008 was one to remember with him finishing sixth, better than any rookie in that year's race. However since then, Hunter-Reay has not finished better than eighteenth after driving for three different owners.

So far in the 2012 Indycar season, Hunter-Reay is fourth in points, finishing in the top three twice. After failing to qualify for the 500 with Andretti Autosport last season (Hunter-Reay ran the race for A.J. Foyt Enterprises), he hopes that he can improve upon the eighteenth place finish while driving for Andretti Autosport in 2010.

With Pole Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway taking place on Saturday, Hunter-Reay is among several who is looking to lock in their times and guarantee a spot in the most prestigious auto racing event in the United States of America. If Hunter-Reay's practice numbers are any indication, he shouldn't have much to worry about.

In Wednesday's practice at the speedway, Hunter-Reay clocked the third fastest speed of the day at 221.763 MPH, only behind Norway's Jossef Newgarden (222.785 MPH) and Marco Andretti (222.108 MPH).

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.