Indy 500 winner's toddler steals show in 'world's smallest race suit'
Ryan Hunter-Reay won the second-closest Indianapolis 500 in the race's 103-year history on Sunday, but it was his pint-sized doppelganger who nearly stole the show.
Hunter-Reay celebrated with his wife, Beccy, and his adorable 1-year-old son, Ryden, who was outfitted in a tiny replica of his dad's yellow firesuit. Ryden was still sporting the mini firesuit when Ryan and Beccy brought him on TODAY Tuesday, fresh off Ryan's first-ever Indy win.
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"Obviously (Ryden) stole the show with the world's smallest race suit, and it's all to scale — every logo that's on my suit,'' Ryan said.
Following Indianapolis 500 tradition, Hunter-Reay gulped down some milk and poured the rest over his head after the race. Unfortunately, Ryden didn't to join in.
"(Ryden will) regret not having a little bit of it because he loves milk, but he was tired at the end of the day," said Hunter-Reay. "We'll definitely have to get him some more."
Matt Lauer asked if one day Ryden will wear an adult-sized firesuit as a race car driver himself.
"I hope he's a golfer, to be honest,'' Beccy joked.
Hunter-Reay edged second-place finisher Helio Castroneves by 0.060 seconds, the second-closest finish in the race's history.
"It was just a dream come true, hard-fought finish,'' he said. "It was down to the wire with Helio Castroneves there at the end. It was a career-long goal to win this race. I've dreamt of just having a shot at winning this race since I was a kid, and let alone doing it here in that fashion with a race that came down (to the) second-closest finish in Indy 500 history, and what they're saying is one of the most exciting ever."
While her husband was using a series of daredevil moves to win, Beccy was left in the dark.
"It was so agonizing,'' she said. "I watch from a pit box, and the TV went out as soon as they got to turn four, so I had to run to the pit wall and look over. I knew a yellow car won. I was just hoping it was his, and I looked and was like, 'Oh my gosh, that's so amazing.'''
Hunter-Reay, the first American to win the race since 2006 — on Memorial Day weekend, no less — was born in Dallas and grew up in Florida.
"I take a lot of pride in that,'' he said. "Memorial Day weekend, our servicemen and women were out there, and we wouldn't be able to do this great race if it weren't for them. I'm one of the few Americans in the sport. It's a very international sport, and I'm definitely proud to raise the stars and stripes."