Hunter-Reay makes it two-in-a-row in Iowa
In another action packed IndyCar race, Hunter-Reay passed Andretti and leader Scott Dixon with 12 laps to go and then cruised home when the race ended under caution after Katherine Legge spun with three laps to go.
Tony Kanaan was third for KV Racing after starting 19th to give Chevy a 1-2-3 finish.
Scott Dixon faded to fourth at the finish.
The drive of the day was by Simon Pagenaud who started dead last and passed a lot of cars to finish fifth.
â€œIâ€™ve never started last before," said Simon Pagenaud.
"When I saw everyone in front of me at the start, I couldnâ€™t believe I was back there. I was sitting in the car before the race and thinking about my girlfriendâ€™s father who passed away this week. We were very close. He watched every race of mine, and I felt like he was watching me still tonight. My thought process starting the race was â€˜just to move forward.â€™ It was really difficult at the beginning. We were already a lap down before I got confident with the car. Something just clicked, and everything unlocked and we started moving forward. I'm really starting to enjoy the ovals. It's close racing and it's fun."
"That was very challenging," said an elated Hunter-Reay.
"We were sliding around a little bit more today. I have to thank Marco (Andretti). They came here and tested. Marco put the set up on the car. When we came here, we tweaked it just a little. From there, we basically raced with what he tested with. We got another win for Chevy, DHL and Sun Drop. Marco and I raced really hard out there, really clean. Itâ€™s great to have a teammate like that and weâ€™re just so happy to be in Victory Lane twice in a row."
"First of all, great team effort, said Andretti. "Itâ€™s definitely a credit to the team. Itâ€™s definitely a statement as well that Andretti Autosport is now the one to beat. Two-in-a-row for the team, two-in-a-row at Iowa. Itâ€™s a good day but for me Iâ€™m a little disappointed to come up short."
Polesitter Dario Franchitti blew his Honda engine before the green flew and finished dead last.
With the win Hunter-Reay moves to within three points of leader Will Power who crashed out of the race.
#5 Viso and #12 Power made contact in Turn 2 on lap 68 of 250. Viso hit the SAFER Barrier while Power spun after turning down on Viso who was on the low side.
"I just lost it. I feel bad for E.J," said Power, "because I took him with me, he said to me in the car that I was down low on him or something and I didn't understand, but oh yeah, now I see (while watching the replay). I didn't get the call that he was underneath me, so I feel, man I didn't even know he was there, I feel bad for him."
"Will was definitely on the pace, he just doesn't use his mirror," said Viso.
"I had a run at him, I was into corner one and he just blocked me, blocked me, and I couldn't get lower, I already had my front left tire inside the apron and the yellow line. He just kept going lower and I had nowhere to go. This is not the usual Will that we used to know by being clean, this is the second race that he affects somebody on my team and it's very disappointing. We had a great car and I think that we could have won this race. It's just a shame. The car was a rocket, I'm very thankful for the team. We've had some very strong performances, the results are very close, but things like this are stopping us from getting them."
On lap 178 #67 Newgarden made contact with leader #2 Ryan Briscoe in Turn 2, eliminating both cars.
"He was coming out on tires with stickers about two seconds a lap quicker, and we were going down the straightâ€”I went low early in the straight to show him that I was giving him the high line and when we got there he just never lifted and just came barreling in," said Briscoe.
"It's disappointing, my spotter didn't have time to tell me that that's where he was going, I don't think anyone saw that coming. It's tough, then he tried going low, and he's coming from way too far back there, it's too late to make a pass like that. So, it's disappointing, but he's a rookie and he'll learn from it, and it's a shame because I think on fuel we were in position to when the thing. We had made the car a lot better from the start and I was looking forward to the finish."
"It's pretty tough from that point because even coming up to it I was looking at what they were doing and Briscoe was working that top lane like he wanted to be up in the middle of the top, and that was fine," said Newgarden
"I decided that we were going to low and he had such a difference in speed really, you know I went low on the entry and then he kinda slowed down and started coming low as well. I actually tried to get out of it because he started coming low and I mean I couldn't even get out of it in time. I tried to go below the yellow to avoid it and even brake, there was just not enough there really. Really caught me off guard too, I was not trying to do anything silly or rushed, I think the race was really coming to us and was trying to be real methodical about what we were doing. I think it's a shame for it to end that way, I think we had a really strong car coming to us during the race for SFHR and for it to end like that, I know everyone is pretty disappointed, including me."
This is the seventh career Indy car victory for Hunter-Reay, a 31-year-old resident of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. This is his second consecutive win in the 2012 season.
This is his fourth win with Andretti Autosport, and is his third consecutive season with a victory. He extends his distinction of being the winningest active American driver in the IndyCar Series.
His previous IZOD IndyCar Series victories were: Milwaukee (2012/Andretti Autosport), New Hampshire (2011/Andretti Autosport), Long Beach (2010/Andretti Autosport) and Watkins Glen (2008/Rahal Letterman Racing). He also has victories in the CART/Champ Car Series at Milwaukee and Surfer's Paradise.
Hunter-Reay has been the top-finishing American driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series points the last two seasons. Hunter-Reay is the only driver to score victories in IZOD IndyCar, CART Champ Car, Grand-Am and the American Le Mans series.
This is the 41st IZOD IndyCar Series victory for Andretti Autosport. Since 2003, Andretti Autosport has scored three series titles ('04/Kanaan, '05/Wheldon and '07/Franchitti) and two Indianapolis 500 wins ('05/Wheldon and '07/Franchitti).
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, winner Iowa Corn Indy 250): "That was very challenging. We were sliding around a little bit more today. I have to thank Marco (Andretti). They came here and tested. Marco put the set up on the car. When we came here, we tweaked it just a little. From there, we basically raced with what he tested with. We got another win for Chevy, DHL and Sun Drop. Marco and I raced really hard out there, really clean. It's great to have a teammate like that and we're just so happy to be in Victory Lane twice in a row."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team RC Cola Chevrolet): "It was a lot of fun, the car came alive in the second stint. I think we in hindsight could have taken another turn of the front wing and been really hard to beat at the end, but we kept the car how it is and I kind of ran out of tools at the end and had a lot of understeer. Great team effort, definitely a statement from Andretti Autosport and congrats to Ryan."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda):"The car was decent and we struggled early on with under steer and I don't think I did a good job of asking to get it dialed out. Toward the end I could only go to the bottom and when I got high it just had too much under steer. We gave it the best we could and got stuck behind two slower Honda cars at the end who we had trouble getting around. I was a bit confused over that but I'm not sure we were going to hang on and win either. Tough night for the Target team."
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "I've never started last before! When I saw everyone in front of me at the start, I couldn't believe I was back there. I was sitting in the car before the race and thinking about my girlfriend's father who passed away this week. We were very close. He watched every race of mine, and I felt like he was watching me still tonight. My thought process starting the race was 'just to move forward.' It was really difficult at the beginning. We were already a lap down before I got confident with the car. Something just clicked, and everything unlocked and we started moving forward. I'm really starting to enjoy the ovals. It's close racing and it's fun."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): "The Penske Truck Rental car ran out front it seems like the entire night. The positive is that we are moving up in the championship points and getting closer to my teammate. The downside is losing a race that we could have won. A lot of credit goes to my guys, they did a phenomenal job on pit stops all night long. Now it is on to Toronto and hopefully we can keep moving to the top."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "It was a very hard race, we fought very hard. The boys did a great job to regroup after a difficult weekend. We didn't have the speed this weekend. We tried to find the speed and were improving but it was such a hard race. We were just hanging in there and it was as tough of a race as I have ever had. I am looking forward to getting back on road and street courses and also look forward to going to Canada."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus): "I'm pretty happy with 14th, that's our second best finish this year, and it was on an oval. I think there was a lot of survival going on out there, but I think we had a really strong race car. It was really comfortable out there so I could stay in the tow of other people. A big thanks to the team, they kept working really hard every time. Even when we know it's going to be a tough weekend we always hope for the best. I think today we had a pretty good result at the end. Hopefully we'll get some improvements for the road courses and start sneaking into the top 10."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central Honda): Graham: It was a long day. We were just really struggling to get any grip and were hanging on for 250 laps. I'm happy to come away with a top-10. We're going to keep working on it and that's what you have to do. Hopefully, we'll get a little better.
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "It was a fun night overall. I learned more in the second-half of tonight's race than all of the short ovals we've done all year. I've got to give a lot of credit to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys. I was working my marks. They rocked it in pit lane. There was one stop where we went by four or five guys in pit lane. They kept making the car better and giving me more and more speed in pit lane. I was learning in traffic. In the end there, we just brought it home, knocking on the door of a top-10, which is good to build some momentum heading into this string of road courses.
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 GEICO /Mouser Electronics- KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "It was a great day for us. I wished we had started further up the field, but the GEICO | MOUSER guys gave me a great car. We don't take the podium finish for granted, but I think we had a car that could have won the race. There were lots of dodgy moves out there. People were driving kind of crazy. I hope the fans liked the race. Now we have to capitalize on what we have done so far, the championship is getting tight. Hopefully we can get a win soon."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "Another top 10 and another race starting in the back and fighting our way forward. We lost a lap twice and got it back pretty late to make a charge. We made a bad call on the first wave around and I lost the lap again on a pit stop. We pitted too quickly before we packed up. But similar to Milwaukee (when he passed E.J. Viso on a restart), I was able to pass (Scott) Dixon on a restart and the yellow came out immediately. I was able to pack up and pick up a few more spots before the end. I think I've always gotten good restarts but never gotten praised for it like TK (Tony Kanaan) or (Tomas) Scheckter. I feels that is a strength of mine. When you get opportunities in a race you have to make the most of them. I thought I had better than Dixon and that was going to be my last chance to get a lap back. And we got a good break on the yellow. Happy to get another top-ten but I had to work much too hard for it. The Fuzzy's car could have been a top-five car today."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "On the restart there, we've been understeering all night, which is sort of the weird thing about (the crash). We pulled in for the stop and I don't know man, it's just one of those things. The dirty air there behind Ryan making passes towards the front and the cars had been running better on the bottom all night so I was able to take that high line like a lot of guys were and tuck it down there and try to follow Katherine's groove. Snapped once, snapped twice almost got it and then it went around. I feel bad for the Go Daddy guys, obviously the cars are running really well and I thought we had a good shot at winning this thing, and I just feel bad for the guys on the team."
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 8 BMC/Embrase - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "I must say I am happy with this 7th place finish. I started the race on a completely different set up and for two stints my car was pretty loose. We managed not to lose a lap and once the car got better after the changes we made in the first two pit stops then I was able to race. It's still such a different experience on this ovals but like I said I am pleased with the result."
Results (250 Laps)
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