Baby provides new perspective for IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay
Driver aims to add Indy 500 win
Last Updated: 211 days ago
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Loud and fast are constants for Ryan Hunter-Reay when the reigning IndyCar champion is on the job, sometimes even when off the job.
But that changed recently with the arrival of Ryden Hunter-Reay, son of Ryan and wife, Beccy.
Caring for Ryden is a much slower pace than what the couple is accustomed to.
"You do have a lot more respect for parents and parenting and what your parents did for you," Ryan said. "Hopefully, he'll dig what dad does."
"He's going to golf. It's a really safe sport," Beccy said.
The first day Ryan and Beccy met is remembered in a 2004 painting of the Long Beach Grand Prix.
"She hit it off with my mom first, which was a big thing for me," Ryan said.
"I didn't even realize it was his mom when I first met her. I met her at an autograph session. Next thing you know, I hit it off with his mom and we were just talking the whole night," Beccy said.
"My mom and I worked on that one together. During the autograph session, I told her to make friends," Ryan said.
Photos of Ryan's mother, Lydia, are a prominent feature in the home. It's been four years since she lost her battle with cancer. Ryan has been dedicated to the LiveStrong campaign ever since.
With Ryden's arrival, Lydia's legacy is felt more than ever.
There's nothing more that I would love to just have her hold him," Ryan said. "It's definitely tough that will never get to happen, but we shared so many great moments. I was best friends with her and she was my mom at the same time. She was best friends with Beccy. She has a lot to do with the person I am today and the way we live our lives. That's how she lives on."
The couple's home is as warm as the south Florida sun, filled with items commemorating their life of surfing, sea shells and sea life, including an eye-catching aquarium that has the "RHR" initials cut into the coral.
"That pretty much makes the house. It's right in the center of the house and it was a custom piece," Ryan said. "Our lives are basically nautical, marine. We love to surf, be on a boat, fish -- the whole thing."
A boat or fishing trip is just a turn of the key away, and Ryan is very familiar with the neighborhood, having moved there when he was 4.
Ryan is an accomplished sportsman, putting together home video of sail fishing trips, bringing an entirely different meaning to "pole position."
"It is a great life, absolutely. I'd be the first to admit it," Ryan said.
Ryan badly wants to win the Indianapolis 500.
"It's going to take a lot of hard work to win at Indy, and … everything would be complete at that point," he said.
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