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Hunter-Reay Joins Iconic Daytona 24-hour Race, Blackstock’s Debut

Reigning Indianapolis 500 Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay is jumpstarting his 2015 racing season as he joins the field of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Saturday’s iconic sports car race will mark the ninth consecutive Rolex 24 start for the American-born racer.

Hunter-Reay, together with co-drivers Rubens Barichello, Tor Graves, Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer, will take on race responsibilities for the No. 7 Martini-sponsorsed BMW Power Riley Daytona Prototype for Starworks Motorsport that will take the green flag from the eighth grid position. This year’s 24-hour endurance race is Hunter-Reay’s second career outing with Starworks Motorsport; the 34-year-old first raced with the team in Daytona following his Verizon IndyCar Series championship win in 2012.

“I always look forward to the 24 Hour and kicking off the race season here in Daytona,” said Hunter-Reay. “It's great to be back at Starworks and working with a talented team of co-drivers. In nine straight year being part of the Daytona Rolex 24 I've finished second twice, which is just too close to bringing that watch home. We have a great line up driving this weekend and hopefully we’ll all have something new to wear on our wrists come Sunday.”

Catch live coverage of the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona on FOX Sports television Saturday and Sunday. The 15.5-hour broadcast will kick off just before the start of the first round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Fans can also watch live via the FOX Sports GO app.

The veteran driver will be joined in the Rolex 24 by fellow Andretti Autosport team member Shelby Blackstock, the Indy Lights rookie who will make his debut in the 24-hour race from fifth in class with Bar1 Motorsports.

Following the Daytona 24 Hunter-Reay will soon return to the cockpit of his No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda-powered IndyCar as he preps to carry primary sponsor DHL’s colors into the 2015 season, his 12th season in the American open-wheel series. The Verizon IndyCar Series championship travels to Brasília, Brazil on March 8. The season opener will mark the Florida resident’s 170th career IndyCar start.