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The Indy 500 has all sorts of unique rules. The qualifying format we recently reported on is one of them, and so is the driver replacement rule. The regulations state that a team may replace a driver who qualified for the race with one who didn't, resulting in the revised entry moving to the back of the grid. And that's exactly what's happened with AJ Foyt Enterprises driver Bruno Junqueira and Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay (pictured above practicing last weekend at Indy).

The winner of multiple Champ Car races during the series' split and a former International Formula 3000 champion, Junqueira qualified in 19th place on the grid for this year's landmark running of the Indianapolis 500. Hunter-Reay, however, did not. The American driver initially landed a place on the grid, only to be bumped off by his team-mates Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti as well as Paul Tracy, Ryan Briscoe and others. But an historic agreement between longtime rivals Foyt and Andretti will see Hunter-Reay take Junqueira's place on the grid in a joint entry between the two teams that will feature a combination of sponsors on the car's livery.

This isn't the first time Junqueira has been replaced after qualifying for the Indy 500. A similar move in 2009 at Conquest Racing saw the Brazilian driver step aside in favor of Alex Tagliani, the Canadian driver who this year took pole position.

Meanwhile, Hunter-Reay, if you can believe it, stands as the only American to win an IndyCar race since 2008. That year Graham Rahal won in St. Petersburg, Florida, Danica Patrick won at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan and Hunter-Reay won at Watkins Glen. Since then it's been all foreigners – such as Britain's Dario Franchitti and Mike Conway, Australia's Will Power and Ryan Briscoe, and Brazil's Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan – with the exception of Hunter-Reay's win at Long Beach last year.


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  • 15 Comments
      budwsr25
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why did it take so long to report this story.
      Glynn Hadskey
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is just horrible. This is not like what happened in 2009 with Conquest, that was a driver change inside of a team. That's is crappy but nothing like one teams buying a ride from another team. RHR has been made out to be just a pawn of the evil team owners and just has to drive what ever they give him. Bull. AJ Foyt's website says RHR told Andretti that he should call AJ about buying him a seat.
      budwsr25
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am a fan of Andretti Autosport as a whole team. I don't like what they did to Bruno. If Andretti Autosport couldn't get the cars up to speed they need to figure out whats going on. If they can't get a 9yr old car up to speed to compete somethings wrong with the engineers. Whats going to happen the new car comes out?
      • 4 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      V-mans Den
      • 4 Years Ago
      My heart-felt thanks to Andretti, Foyt, and RHR, for giving the Indianapolis 500, The IZOD Indy Car Series, and the rest of the Racing Community ...A BIG BLACK EYE!!! The three of you have no honor, nor do you respect the long-standing code of tradition and integrity that comes with running in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing". At the Indianapolis 500, you must EARN your way into the field....you must EARN the right to take the Green Flag on Race Day.....NOT BUY IT!!! You have violated this code of honor, integrity, and standard of excellence of being one of the 33 fastest cars and DRIVERS that The Indianapolis 500 demands, and deserves. Quick question for Ryan: Do you have any kids? How are you going to explain this "BS" to them? If you get in that car, there will a dark cloud of disgrace hanging over you for as long as you dare to wear a Racing Helmet.. People aren't going to remember whether you won or lost, they're going to remember that you and Andretti BOUGHT your way into a race that you didn't qualify for! Simply put....This is INDY!! And Indy demands this... "Go FAST....or Go HOME!" That's exactly what you should do. Go home..and wait for next year. Andretti this is for you.... Your Engineers weren't prepared. 40-41 Cars showed up at the Speedway....all with Dallara Chassis'...all with Honda Engines...all on Firestone Tires. You were STILL 2-3 mph slower than those running up front. It was either in your Engine/Drivetrain set-up, Chassis/Suspension Set-up, Tire Pressure/Stagger Set-up, or your Aero-Package...whatever it was, your ENGINEERS should have caught it, so stop blaming Tom Anderson! YOU MISSED!!..... Pure and simple. It can happen to the best teams. In 1995, Roger Penske using his own cars, in addition to others that he leased, failed to qualify. But, he didn't try to "pimp out" rides for "Emmo" and "Little Al". Yes, he did a lot of wheelin' and dealin', but when the 6'oclock gun went off...He STOPPED!!...The team went back to their Gasoline Alley Garage, and locked the doors. Penske and his drivers, took it like the men and the champions that they are. You should follow this example....and cut your losses. This is a normal part of being a car owner. That said.... I will not support RHR, or any of the sponsors that he represents. I urge others who believe in these principles to join me by posting similar notices. "V-mans Den"
      JimV
      • 4 Years Ago
      Kind of old news, ain't it?
      MotorworldHype
      • 4 Years Ago
      The really bad part about this story is that Ryan has been catching heat for this like it was something he set in motion. He is just a driver AKA "hired gun" he goes where he is told to go. He doesn't deserve to be blamed for putting Bruno out of a seat. This situation definitely brings attention to the fact that loophole in the rules that allow things like this to happen need to be closed. The only people this move appeases are sponsors. Ryan did not want to get into the race this way, Bruno did not want to be taken out of the race this way, and the fans sure as heck do not want to see things like this happen. Something needs to be done to prevent this kind of crap from happening again.
      Marc Fletcher
      • 4 Years Ago
      You people have got to be totally lost. It is about the money, DHL wanted in and Andretti , Foyt made it happen. Money from sponsers is why we get to see the races on TV. Please quit blameing Barnhart it is his job to make sure the rules are followed, that's all he did.
      Trav
      • 4 Years Ago
      Swapping rides at indy has been happening for as long as I can remember. Happens at Daytona to in Nascar.
      Drakkon
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why no American win since 2008? Perhaps it's too much attention to 3400 pound billboards going roundie-round.
      mrx19
      • 4 Years Ago
      No surprise here. Did you see Michael Andrettis face at the end of bump day? Death warmed over. He knew he was in big trouble with his sponsors. This is the end result.
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 4 Years Ago
        @mrx19
        I had expected a drivers change in the #43 car. Now the only Andretti driver not in the field it the one with most championship points for now - but maybe for Mike Conway this is more than a "I didn't find a setup" problem...
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