Hinchcliffe dominates in Iowa
The driver of the No. 27 GoDaddy.com machine became the only three-time winner this season, the seventh different winner through 10 races, and now sits fourth in the series standings. When asked if he had ever been scored such a dominant victory at any level, Hinchcliffe said he couldn't think of one.
Also, the victory marked the fifth win for Andretti Autosport this season, fourth consecutive at Iowa, and fifth consecutive on a short oval dating back to New Hampshire 2011. And with Ryan Hunter-Reay finishing second 1.509 seconds behind Hinchcliffe, it was Andretti Autosport's second consecutive one-two at Iowa. When asked why the team's form has been so strong, team owner Michael Andretti noted the teamwork between the 4 cars, particularly with so little track time and testing allowed in IndyCar.
KV Racing's Tony Kanaan rounded out the podium in third, giving Chevrolet its third consecutive podium sweep. Kanaan attributed a yellow flag pit stop on lap 210, where he got fresh Firestone tires as the helping him charge from 12th to third in the final stint.
Ed Carpenter would finish fourth after passing fifth place Graham Rahal with two laps remaining. Rahal was the top-finishing Honda driver.
While Hinchcliffe dominated at the front, there was frequent change amongst those behind him. Carpenter, Rahal, Andretti, Power, Hunter-Reay, Kanaan, Pagenaud and others all spent time battling in the top-5.
But at the end of the day, none of them had anything for Hinchcliffe. Both able to establish a gap running in clean air and negotiate the constant traffic the 7/8 mile oval produces, Hinchcliffe had everyone covered.
The IndyCar Series will be off this coming weekend after a grueling six race in 5 weekend stretch dating back to last month's Indianapolis 500. However, the series will be back racing the following weekend with its much anticipated return to Pocono Raceway July 7th following a 24 year absence.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU LED 226 LAPS TODAY. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THAT?
â€śItâ€™s Andretti Autosport. These guys have such a good track record here and we knew it was going to be different racing here in the day. We took a couple gambles with the set-up and we really wanted to make sure it was going to be good in traffic and turn, and man, that car was hooked-up from the get-go. We pulled away from everybody and had a good race with Graham (Rahal) there on one of those restarts. I lost one of my head pads halfway through the race and I thought it was either going to get stuck in the pedal box, or fly out and get in the air box and those last 20 laps were really long just trying to hold onto it. But, the GoDaddy guys were great in the pits. Itâ€™s great to win in Iowa; itâ€™s where GoDaddy started. Iâ€™m just so stoked. Thanks to the fans who held out through the rain and stayed with us. And Andretti Autosport, Iâ€™m so stoked.â€ť
YOU MADE IT LOOK EASY GETTING THROUGH THAT LAPPED TRAFFIC, BUT HOW HARD WAS IT?
â€śItâ€™s so hard. You know, this place is so physical. Youâ€™re going straight for all of like four seconds in the lap and youâ€™re working the rest of the time. And some guys are really well-behaved and consistent, but at the same time those guys are racing and if theyâ€™re in front of you two-wide, thereâ€™s nothing you can do. Weâ€™re trying to manage the gaps of the guys behind us and trying to take care of the tires. But at the end of the day, the car was solid. Everybody on the No. 27 crew, in the pits, they were awesome. Guys on the stand called it perfect. Man, I just canâ€™t thank these guys enough.â€ť
HOW DOES BEING 4TH IN THE STANDINGS, JUST 66 POINTS BACK SOUND?
â€śIt sounds a whole lot better that ninth coming in, man!â€ť
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: It was so hard to catch back up to James (Hinchcliffe) and then lapped traffic. Itâ€™s one thing if youâ€™re a lap down but if youâ€™re five laps down or six laps down just making it tough on the leaders was uncalled for. But hey, we can back from 22nd or whatever we were to finish second. Definitely had the car to win today but just made a mistake there trying to get by Graham (Rahal), keeping my foot in it. The front just had no grip on it when I turned to pop out and pass him. Easy mistake. We had a tough weekend. To come second out of this thing, Iâ€™m pretty please with that. Good job to James (Hinchcliffe). It was a good day in the point for the No. 1 DHL Chevy. Definitely have to be happy about that.
YOU HAD THE INCIDENT WHEN YOU HAD TO COME IN AND GET A NEW NOSE AND GO BACK OUT, AND WENT FROM LAST ALL THE WAY BACK UP TO FINISH SECOND. BOY, A LOT HAPPENED IN BETWEEN THEN
â€śA lot happened. It was a busy day. I as pushing so hard to catch James (Hinchcliffe) there and then a bunch of lapped traffic just held us up racing. I donâ€™t know why so hard when they are five laps down. But it was a great show today. A great race. Good job to James and the GoDaddy team. We had a good recovery on points today in the No. 1 DHL Chevy. Thanks to all the fans for coming out. We always appreciate it and thank you for making this such a great event.â€ť
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 SUNOCO â€śTURBOâ€ť KV RACING TECHNOLOGY - SH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: â€śFirst I have to thank the entire Sunoco â€“ KV Racing Technology â€“ SH Racing team. They did a great job today. We had some issues early in the race with the car, but we were able to work around them. The pit stops and strategy were great and we fought hard to earn this podium finish. I also want to thank Chevrolet and Firestone for their work. It was a great effort by everyone and a great race. This is my second race in the Sunoco car and a second podium for us. I want to keep that momentum going into Pocono, which we will have the Sunoco car again and will be the second leg of the triple- crown.â€ť
A FANTASTIC RUN FOR YOU! GETTING AROUND LAPPED TRAFFIC WAS A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY
â€śYeah, itâ€™s a short track and youâ€™re always going to have lapped cars and they are fighting for positions as well. Some other races, Iâ€™ve been there. Itâ€™s just the nature of the track. I want to thank the fans for coming. I know the weather didnâ€™t look good this morning, but hopefully charging back through the field toward the end there I made it exciting for them.â€ť
YOU HAD SOME EARLY ISSUES WITH TEMPERATURES, BUT IT WAS A GOOD RACE FOR YOU TODAY
â€śIt was. Weâ€™ll take it. We had the temperature issue where we lost five positions in the pits. And then track position was so crucial today. After that, all we did was we tried to get off sequence to have better tires. So we did it in the yellow because it was only three positions to lose from the back of the field and we put new tires on and that gave us a big advantage in the end.â€ť
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZYâ€™S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: â€śIt was a good run for the Fuzzyâ€™s Vodka Chevy team. We moved up to the front early and, then on the second stint, we had a understeer condition that sent us back in the field a little. It was a long slow fight to the front again after that. The Fuzzyâ€™s guys gave me a great car today and we probably werenâ€™t as aggressive enough early in the race on our changes. But we made all of the right changes late and we were fast at the end. I think we had a car fast enough to win today. Our last green flag pit stop didnâ€™t go as we wanted, but we came back and nearly got a podium today. Overall, we still got a top-five finish today so it wasnâ€™t a bad day for us. This is a really fun place to race. There were multiple lanes today and I ran both the low and the high groove. Seemed like others were only good in one lane. I just wish the race was a little longer for us because we were closing fast on the leaders. But weâ€™ll move on and go to Pocono. Iâ€™m really looking forward to that race.â€ť
THAT WAS A HARDER-FOUGHT FOURTH PLACE FINISH THAN IT LOOKED LIKE, WASNâ€™T IT?
â€śYeah, we were at the front and then dropped back pretty far and raced our way to the front in the end and just ran out of laps. I think we would have kept catching people. It was a good day for the Fuzzy Vodka car. We didnâ€™t execute perfectly, but I still got a Top 5 so I canâ€™t complain about that.â€ť
TALK ABOUT HOW KEY THAT LAST PIT STOP WAS TO HELP YOU WORK YOUR WAY BACK UP
â€śWe were off sequence to Hinch and those guys so we got clear track on old tires after they had pitted. We did a pretty good job of holding them off for most of the time and we were in pretty good shape. We didnâ€™t have a great pit stop on the last stop, but thatâ€™s the way it goes sometimes and weâ€™ve got to be happy about the result anyway.â€ť
HOW GOOD WAS YOUR CAR AT THE END TODAY?
â€śOther than the second stint, we were one of the fastest cars on track. We lost a lot of position the second stint. We had a bad stop at the end. Thatâ€™s the way it goes sometimes. Iâ€™ve made plenty of mistakes this year and itâ€™s going to happen at some point in time where you canâ€™t be perfect in the pits all the time. So, it was a little bit of a bummer because we could have had more. I think we had a shot at the win, but you canâ€™t be mad about fourth. So, Iâ€™m happy to get out of here with a good run.â€ť
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: â€śThe National Guard Chevy was great all day. This is the first time I can remember that I didnâ€™t ask for a single change to the car for an entire race. It was the restarts today that cost us; the best restart I had the No. 55 car almost spun in front of me and I had to check up. But I felt like we were faster than a lot of the guys around us all day today. To be honest, seeing that I was seventh at the end was a surprise because I felt like we were much higher than that, but a big thanks to the team and the National Guard for such a great car today.â€ť
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH: "It was a good job today by the Hitachi team. We drove as hard as we could today. When they told me I came in 8th, I was like 'What?' I certainly felt we had a better car than that. I guess in traffic we got held up coming in and out of the pits which cost us some positions. The Hitachi car really came alive with about 50 laps to go and it felt great. Maybe it was a little too late for us. But, we still have the points lead and we will look for a better result in Pocono."
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: â€śIt was a total handful when it came to traffic. Iâ€™m disappointed we couldnâ€™t get the RC Cola car up there with the teammates but congrats to those two (James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay).â€ť
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH:
"It was a pretty up and down race for me. I think at some points, especially at the beginning of the race, we showed tremendous speed, and I thought at that point we were going to make it to the front. Unfortunately in the second and third stint, we didn't have the similar speed and I went to the back. I recovered again to finish in the top-10. It was not the best weekend for us, even from the beginning. But I am happy for my two teammates James (Hinchcliffe) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) for finishing first and second."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: "It was a decent day starting from where we were it was not easy. Every time you start at the back you have some restarts that play your way and some that do not. I had a really good one halfway through the race but then on one restart I got caught behind Viso because he was running my line and couldn't get going so that put us in the back. After going a lap down I tried to be as less of a factor for the leaders but then you have to start to let people by and you can't run your race anymore. We were able to make a lot of progress with the car from the heat race to the feature race. When you have to drive from the back and don't have a rocket ship its pretty tough to make it up to the front."
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17TH: "Tough day for the Verizon team. The rear handling of the car was an issue pretty much from the start of the race. It was frustrating because we tried everything we could to make it better but we just couldn't get it to where we wanted it. It was a good job in the pits by the Verizon guys and we look forward to testing this week to make sure we feel good heading into Pocono."
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH: "It was a very disappointing weekend for us. I am very frustrated after coming to Iowa with a lot of momentum and we were just not able to create a reliable car for the race. With having this little of practice time before the race, if you do not come with a well balanced car itâ€™s very hard to catch up to the front. The race for us was just a matter of keeping it a clean race. We made a bad call when we could have gained our one lap back in the beginning and the really finished the day early for us."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: â€śThe car was better today than yesterday, but itâ€™s still not quite there yet. It feels like weâ€™re in damage control mode right now. We rolled off the truck not so good and didnâ€™t have a ton of track time to get it fixed, so we got in kind of a pickle there. For the race we tried a few different things which got us closer, but it was still a long race for us. Iâ€™m excited to go testing and hopefully we can turn all of this around. Weâ€™ve struggled the last two races, so weâ€™ll just have to keep working on it.â€ť
Point Standings: Castroneves 332, Hunter-Reay 323, Andretti 277, Hinchcliffe 266, Kanaan 253. Pagenaud 241, Dixon 240, Sato 233, Wilson 227, Power 209
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