Hunter-Reay makes a statement in Toronto
It was Hunter-Reay's third straight win for Andretti Autosports who had to survive a late race restart.
Hunter-Reay, in the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, inherited the lead on Lap 57 when JR Hildebrand pitted and upped his margin over Tony Kanaan from 0.6040 of a second to 4.0794 seconds in the matter of five laps on the 1.75-mile, 11-turn course.
Though Charlie Kimball replaced Kanaan as the challenger on Lap 72, the challenger didn't matter. Hunter-Reay pulled away by 7.6 seconds with 10 laps left and -- staying ahead of restart pileups in Turns 1 and 3 with three laps left -- went on to his third consecutive victory.
Hunter-Reay crossed the start-finish line under caution, with Kimball securing a career-best runner-up finish and Mike Conway coming from the 11th starting spot to place a season-high third (the first podium for A.J. Foyt Racing since Brazil in 2010). Tony Kanaan finished fourth and Oriol Servia was fifth.
Team owner Michael Andretti won a record seven times on the streets of Toronto as a driver and Hunter-Reay added to that legacy and the win moves Hunter-Reay into the lead in points by 34 over Will Power with five races to go.
This is the eighth career Indy car victory for Hunter-Reay, a 31-year-old resident of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. This is the first time he has won three IndyCar races in a single season, and this is his second career win on a street course.
MIKE CONWAY (No. 14 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "The guys at A.J. Foyt Racing have been working really hard all year. We've been getting in there, getting in there, and this weekend I felt like we started off better than we have before, so we just kept dialing in and come warm-up this morning, I was pretty happy with it. I knew that we could walk a way forward, but I was surprised at how good we were on that first stint and we could just move our way forward and work our way out to the front. But you know with that yellow, we got caught out there, I was in the back and had to do it all again, but it was a lot of fun, so big thank you to my crew."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet): "No it doesn't. It's so much more fun doing it this way. I think we'd rather just keep doing this. This is awesome. There's a championship run going on right now. I'm a part of it as much as everybody on this team is and they did excellent pit stops. They gave me the car to win today. We had it when it mattered again - at the end. We don't need to win the beginning of the race. We need to win the end and it's been such a pleasure. I can't even believe - three races. This is going to take a second to settle in. Now. I'm thinking we've got to do it again next weekend. We started seventh in Iowa, and it is a little bit harder to pass here but in IndyCar and these street races you just have to stick with it, no matter if you're fourteenth, you just have to keep giving 110 percent and sometimes it shakes out for you. Today we had the right strategy; we had the right race car; we had the good pit stops; and I did it on the track.
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch Honda): "I know that there were only 25 of us out there, but the amount of times I passed people there felt like there were about 50 cars, so a lot of credit to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew, the 83. It was quick and all I had to do was turn and make a couple of moves when they were there. That last restart got pretty busy, but at the end of the day we came home with a clean results and all credit to Ryan. They worked the strategy, started up front and stayed there, Mike ran me reasonably clean at that last restart. Only a couple of marks on my sidepod, we made it through the corner, and as he said, it's kind of unfortunate that with all the marbles, Seb got caught up in Turn 1." (Were you conservative because of all the action, or push the whole way?) I think today, 'conservative' was maximum attack. When you're going for it, the thing was sideways everywhere. You really had to push. What they did on the repaving made for great racing. I don't know about everybody in the stands, but I sure had a lot of fun in the cockpit. And I can't wait to get back, not only here next year, but in Edmonton in two weeks."
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): ""For me the biggest takeaway is that we got to the point where we had a good car in the race. Today it was nice to be able to lean on Oriol a little bit (on the setup) and last year when we finished well here it was about just not crashing into people that put us in the Top Ten, whereas I think honestly if we had caught the first yellow on the right side we could have had a podium finish. It's a testament to what the National Guard Panther Racing guys do that we were able to figure everything out and have this kind of success on raceday. This weekend, up until today, had been a bit of a disaster; all kinds of things that aren't anybody's fault, but it's the kind of thing that just happens sometimes in racing that we all learn from."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "We had a mechanical issue and started losing power in the engine and it's too bad. We started off a bit on the back foot, we lost our pit lane speed limiter so I had to do that first stop just watching the speed - the guys had a great stop and I think our tire strategy was good. We got some good passes done early and then that yellow came out, and finally it was a stroke of luck our way and we got up to fourth there. Another great strategy call by these Go Daddy guys. It's a heart ache to go out early here. The whole weekend has been incredible - all the support from everybody here in Toronto. Like I've said, it's the best city in the world, I love coming here to race and thank you to everybody for the support. This has been awesome. And if I couldn't win it I'm happy to see one of my teammates in victory lane. Congrats to Ryan (Hunter-Reay) on his third in a row!"
DARIO FRANCHITI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "Another tough day for the Target guys. We got caught out with a yellow and then had an issue on the pit stop with the fueling. That put us to the back and we tried to make something happen on strategy but couldn't make the fuel number. We finally got the yellow we needed on the last restart. There were massive amounts of marbles and cars going three-wide, and I went for a gap that closed. It was just one of those things today."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "Today's finish for the Verizon car is certainly a shame because I felt we had one of the quickest cars. We did a good job on fuel but unfortunately we stayed out and got caught. I really enjoy racing here, just a tough break. It is going to be a tight finish with only five races to go."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 18 Sonny's BBQ Honda): "The Sonny's Bar-B-Q Honda was pretty good out there and we were having a good race. In that last stint I was just battling away to get on the podium and I thought we had a good shot at that. About half way round that last lap I started to lose power, but it was intermittent, so it would just die and accelerate, die and accelerate. Eventually I got to Turn 11 and it died as I entered. As I got to the apex suddenly it gave me full power back. It spun the wheels, the rear came out and clipped the wall and bent the suspension. So I'm very disappointed. We've found the part that failed which caused the power loss and we'll just have to learn from that. We've got a quick race car, so bring on the next race."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "I think it was the engine. It was definitely something mechanical. I'm not very happy of course, but Team Target will do a lot between now and Edmonton."
ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 98 Team Barracuda - BHA Honda): "I'm very proud of Team Barracuda - BHA. We lost sixth gear at some point early in the race but we never gave up. To finish the day with a 10th place position is pretty amazing. I think we had a fast car but we never had the chance to prove it. We had a wing problem early on, then some tire pressure and then finally when the car was good we didn't have sixth gear. I'm very proud. The guys just never give up. That's kind of like our motto this year. We have things to overcome every single race but we always stick with it. And that's what counts."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet): ""Yes, it was a great day. We had a potential third place going on. I was really happy with that. We benefited from (Scott) Dixon's problems. We went after Justin (Wilson). We had a better race car. We took better care of our tires, and we were going to make it. That yellow came out at the worst time. A bunch of guys had gone out of sync already (pit stops). That cycle put us to the back of the pack. I knew it was going to be super hard from there, but we stuck together and tried to run mistake-free, which I did. The car was pretty good. It is just very difficult to pass. Made a few moves, and just tried to make it stick from there. Things started to play out in our favor at the end because some guys couldn't make it on fuel. I passed (Charlie) Kimball on the restart...I don't know what he did. Mistake...completely lose mind. If I didn't give him the room, it was going to throw me in the tires, so I avoided the contact. I saw him coming so suddenly, I had to open the steering like super quick. I got on the marbles, and there was no way I could make the corner from there. Very disappointing because we should have finished on the podium, whatever place that was. That would have been great for the whole Dragon Racing crew. But, we'll try again."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "I made a mistake early, going into the runoff in Turn 8. But I was able to stay on the lead lap and we worked with car. It felt better towards the end. We were able to soldier on and be in position at the end to pick up some positions when people up front had to pit late. But it was frustrating that we got caught up in the turn three crash at the finish. I thought I could have finished higher. That is the biggest disappointment for me. I was the last one to stop in the mess and I was the last one to get restarted. There were guys who caused the crash who got restarted before me. That doesn't make sense. They move me out of the way and restart those guys. That cost us today. I need to talk with IndyCar and Beaux (Barfield) since the guys who blocked the track and caused everything in turn three get to go before guys who had to stop because the track was blocked. That is very frustrating. Our Fuzzy's Vodka Chevy needed to be better in the race but we'll work on it for Edmonton."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus): "I'm pretty disappointed. Something happened with the engine. We were hoping for a good finish, trying to stay out of trouble. It's hard to say right now, we just did a couple of laps. We'll have to see what happened and go to Edmonton and try to do better."
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "I don't know whether to be happy or mad. The HP car was pretty awesome during the race. We led and controlled the race for a little while. The team did an awesome job. It just didn't go our way on the strategy. We tried to go for the win with a little bit of strategy. It just about worked out. Unfortunately, we did not have enough fuel to go to the end, so we had to pit." (About penalty): "You know, I am eager to watch the replay. I have no doubt on what I did. I think I respected the rule, which is to keep your line. I kept my line, but Newgarden went into a hole where there was no space. If I didn't move back, he was never going to stop. I had to move back to make sure he wasn't going to take me out. So, I don't see why I got penalized. But again, I need to see the replay. Sometimes, from the inside of the car, it looks a little different. But from my standpoint, I really don't understand the penalty."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "It was a tough race. We chose to start with the primary tire and tried to hold our position but a couple of people got by with the quicker alternate tire. We settled into a pace and it was, in a way, surprising to see not much yellow at the beginning of the race. It was good to see all of the cars get through Turn 1 and 3 but then we tried a little different sequence and made our first pit stop earlier and put on the alternate tire and tried to stretch the run but unfortunately we had a little balance issue on the second set of tires and lost quite a bit of time and gradually lost positions which was a shame. We need to look into it that but it also seems we have a small problem on the brakes because I am losing them too. It was a tough race and in the end it's good to finish in the top-10 but I wanted to be a little higher. Good job by everyone though."
JAMES JAKES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): "Thanks to all the guys, obviously for staying here late last night and working hard for the engine change, and thanks to Honda as well for giving us a fresh one. Hopefully we can get qualifying sorted for the next time at Edmonton so we can battle to be in the top three. We had a good car at the end of the race and we managed to pick quite a few guys off. A lot of people were saving fuel there so that was good because we were good to go till the end. Very happy today."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): "In our strategy for the No. 2 Hitachi we were counting on a yellow a little bit earlier, but we got it in the end there. We certainly based our strategy of catching a couple more yellows than we did, so unfortunately we had to pit at the end which got us out of track position. We were looking alright for a top ten finish but during the melee down in turn three during that last restart we got hit in the back end and it ended our day. It was great having our sponsors from Hitachi here at the track today, just too bad the day ended how it did.
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): "It was very crazy out there today. I am very proud of the whole Penske Truck Rental team today, my crew, mechanics, engineers, the Chevy engine, everybody did a great job. I think finishing sixth here in Toronto is my best finish so I am pleased with that. This is the first time I have been able to keep my nose clean out here, literally I had no damage on my nose and how things were going today that was good. Our car was certainly good enough to finish in the top six and I am glad that we were able to stay out of the wrecks and finish like we did."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): ""We had such a great car today just like we have all year. The car was coming into its stride and we had a great strategy. Unfortunately at the end I attempted a pass on Pagenaud that l don't think I should have tried. I went into the tires and that was the end of our fantastic run today. We showed that despite missing two practice sessions and qualifying in the back of the pack we have the ability to move up the field and threaten for a podium finish. We were right where we need to be today. We just need to seal the deal."
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet): "This Sunday wasn't the most spectacular day of the Panther/DRR 22 Valspar machine. Honestly, we just didn't have the speed. I felt a lot better in the practices, but not during the race. We just didn't have the speed. Dennis has a great strategy. We were able to keep our nose clean. There were a lot of drivers that were not driving that smart out there. It was just a question of letting them make the mistakes. We'll take the fifth place.
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 GEICO/Mouser Electronics/KVRT Chevrolet): (About his penalty): "I have to say that on that pit stop there, I had no room. I don't know if it was just me that spun the tires too much or the Dreyer & Reinbold guys didn't leave me enough room, I can't say. I kind of disagree with the call, but we had to do it. Then, after that it was just the same story. We go from the back, back to the front. I'm a little bit upset. We can't get a win, but I'm trying as hard as I can." (From a team perspective, how close are you (to a win)?): "I think we're close. We've got to do a better job in qualifying for sure, and a couple of other things that are happening during the races in our pit stops. Strategy-wise between me and my engineers, we've got to sort it out, but we're close. We've been knocking on the door. We've been in the top four for the past three races - two podiums and a fourth place. So close."
Results (85 Laps)
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