Ryan Hunter-Reay is no stranger to speed: The 31-year-old IndyCar racer is the winningest American driver in the field, and the only person to claim victory in IndyCar, CART/Champ Car, American Le Mans, and the Grand-American sports car series. Though his day job involves piloting race cars on tracks everywhere from São Paulo to Sonoma, Hunter-Reay's not-so-secret passion takes him far from the tarmac and into some of the most stunning aquatic settings on earth.
"My most prized possession is my boat," he explained during a phone chat on the eve of a race in Fontana, California. How does his passion for water sports help fuel his imagination and help him recharge between races? We've got the answers in this gallery. Launch Gallery >>
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Ludicrous speed on a racetrack might terrify most civilians, but the thing that gets Hunter-Reay worked up is a good underwater wreck dive. "There's something spooky about being down there in a wreck," the adrenaline junky explains. "It gets everything going, for sure." One of his favorite wrecks is the Mercedes, a 198-foot freighter that lies in 100 feet of water just off the coast of his native Fort Lauderdale. Hunter-Reay says he uses a combination of nitrogen and oxygen dubbed "nitrox" to prolong his dives.
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