Hunter-Reay to lead Rose Bowl Parade in new Acura NSX


2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay will become the first Indy car driver in more than 50 years to participate in the Rose Bowl parade when he leads the event in a 2016 Acura NSX on New Year’s Day.

Honda, which serves as the presenting sponsor of the event, also power’s Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 Andretti Autosport Indy car in the Verizon IndyCar Series, and will have a “Nature’s Hope” float (pictured, ABOVE) in the famed festival held in Southern California. RHR will add a new chapter to open-wheel racing’s involvement in the Rose Bowl, following 1959 and 1962 Indy 500 winner Roger Ward who participated in the 1963 Rose Parade on the “Memorable Moments in Indiana” float (BOTTOM).

“I’ll be leading the whole parade, and it’s a huge honor to do it as a representative of the sport as an Indy 500 winner and an IndyCar champion,” RHR (LEFT) told RACER. “It’s fitting to do it in the NSX, which debuts this year, and it’s great to start early on promoting the 100th Indy 500. The Rose Parade is an American tradition, just like Indy, and this effort from Honda brings both together in a really nice way.”

RHR will be faced with the unusual task of maintaining an incredibly slow pace – just 2.5mph – in his brand-new NSX, which will surely contradict his instincts to push the twin-turbo V6-powered hybrid coupe to its limits.

“I can’t wait to drive the new NSX; I haven’t even seen it in person yet, but I have to do 2.5 mph and maintain that speed the whole time, so maybe they’ll let me go play with the car once I’m done and find out what it can really do,” he said with a laugh. “Outside of my relationship with Honda, I’ve been a big fan of the original NSX dating back to 1994, so I’m looking forward to driving it and experience it. And when I’m done with my driving duties, I get to watch the Rose Bowl, so I’m a pretty lucky guy.”