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Water Break with Danielle Hunter: Go Mode 


For nine seasons, Vikings pass rusher Danielle Hunter has used a combination of speed and power to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks.

Hunter compiled his most disruptive season in his first year under Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores. He enters Week 18 with 15.5 sacks, which ranks fifth in the NFL and has set new a career high, surpassing his previous high of 14.5 in 2018 and 2019.

He continues to establish himself as one of the best pass rushers in Vikings history. He became just the sixth different Viking to record at least 15.5 sacks in a season. In Week 15, Hunter surpassed Vikings Ring of Honor defensive end Jared Allen for the sixth-most sacks in franchise history (86.5).

Off the field, Hunter enjoys combining speed with power, as well. He's been a car aficionado since childhood. Hunter's love for exotic vehicles spawned from often indulging in the video game "Gran Turismo" while growing up.

Ahead of the Vikings Week 7 Monday Night Football game against the 49ers, Hunter turned heads by arriving at U.S. Bank Stadium driving a street-legal racecar for which he was custom fit in the United Kingdom.

The acquisition of the automobile allowed him to expand his passion for travel. Both hobbies give Hunter a sense of isolated peace that football rarely offers.

There are also parts of traveling that remind him of growing up in his home country of Jamaica. Hunter and his family moved to the United States when he was 8.

We talked with Hunter for a Water Break presented by Crown Royal to discuss his love for cars and travel.

Q: Do you consider yourself more of a car junkie or travel enthusiast?

A: Probably traveling. You get to see things. Cars are always going to be there.

Q: What is it about traveling that you feel so connected with?

A: You'll probably never be able to see the entire world, even in a lifetime. So, I try to see as much as I can.

Q: When and where was your first trip that started your run of traveling?

A: Honestly its these NFLPA trips that started it. I've enjoyed them. Then, me and my friends started getting together and started going to bachelor parties all over the country. So that kind of started everything.

Q: Who do you enjoy bringing on trips with you?

A: Just a few people. I don't try to get a big crowd. I don't want too much attention on myself. Try to keep it nice and low key. Like, friends that I played [football] with. I'm always closest with people that I played with.

Q: Recently you've visited Australia, England and France. Which trip is your favorite?

A: Australia is nice. When I was over there it felt like everything was isolated. I didn't hear nothing about what was going on in the world. I just felt peaceful. I was walking around the streets, and it reminded me of back home [in Jamaica]. It was just peaceful. No one was doing anything crazy or on social media. People were just enjoying whatever they were given.

Q: Cars are the exact opposite of quiet peace. So what is it about vehicles that sparks different parts of your appreciation for leisure and travel?

A: The relationship between that is that you're confided to a space by yourself. But at the same time, I don't just drive a car to drive. I drive to find a scenery and to go see things. Me and my buddies will drive together, but we'll always drive to a scene to see something. But you are still confided to that space by yourself. Then sometimes, you've just got to turn off the radio and listen to the engine.

Q: You turned heads arriving to Monday Night Football in your racecar. Why did you drive to the game in it?

A: I was going to go to the game in my truck. But my buddies said 'Oh, it's a nice day to do it. If you don't do it now, you probably won't do it.' Because I was going to send the car to my home in Texas. I only had the car up here to get it registered. And I was like, 'Cool, I'll do it and drive it to the game.'

Q: What was it about that car that enticed you?

A: I feel like as a person who loves cars and drives cars there is always that one fine-tuned experience that you just want to get. I don't think anything compares to be able to drive a F1-like car on the street. Being in a single seater, putting that helmet on and hearing the noise.

Q: How did you discover your love for cars?

A: I got into cars because of "Gran Turismo," the PlayStation video game. I played that game for hours. And that is where it all started.

Q: Have you seen the movie? It's on Netflix now.

A: I kind of have. I started it but haven't had a chance to finish it because of the season and all that. But that game really influenced a lot of people. And I guess I was one of those people.