Hunter-Reay Gets The IndyCar Victory In Milwaukee

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 16 2012

Ryan Hunter-Reay had a big day in Milwaukee. (INDYCAR/LAT USA)


Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport took control late in the race and went on to win the Milwaukee IndyFest IZOD IndyCar Series race at the Milwaukee Mile on Saturday afternoon.

It was Hunter-Reay’s  his first victory since he won the race at New Hampshire last year. It came by over five seconds over Tony Kanaan of KV Racing Technology. It was his sixth career win in IndyCar.

“What a race,” Hunter-Reay said. “I know we would all have liked to see a little more passing, but from the car it was so busy, just trying to hang on to it. But getting a win for DHL, Sun Drop and Chevy, it’s unreal. Hanging on to those last few restarts were too much. I don’t need that. That was grey area, for sure. The script is perfect. This is an Andretti Sports Marketing event. (Team owner) Michael (Andretti) loves the sport and does a lot for it. Milwaukee and INDYCAR go hand-in-hand. This is the oldest racing facility in the country and we just won. It’s awesome.

“I’m happy to be here in DHL Victory Circle! That was so much work. I think that was one of the most physical races I’ve ever driven. I was just hanging onto it the whole time. The car was awesome; the DHL / Sun Drop guys did a great job. Firestone does a great job of making these races racier and making it more interesting for the fans. The tires did fall off a bit, but they’re so reliable, you have the grip when you need it, and it was there for me all the way to the end.”

Kanaan said he just didn’t have enough car to catch and pass Hunter-Reay over the final laps.

“I felt that for some reason we lost some speed during the race,” Kanaan said. “I couldn’t save fuel I had to run a full mission because I didn’t have enough for the guys in front. Once we pitted and the yellow came out they said we were good to go to the end. I was quite happy for second.

“I tried on the restart and I saw how bad Ryan (Hunter-Reay) wanted it so I said you know what we will take second place. A great result for Chevy one, two, three, the No. 11 boys and the crew did a great job on the stops. Andretti guys help us out on the pit stops on the exit so I am extremely happy. It was a great race. The grandstands were packed I love this. Hopefully we come back to this place it an awesome place.”

James Hinchcliffe, Hunter-Reay’s teammate, was third to give Chevrolet-powered cars a podium sweep.

Oriol Servia was fourth and E.J. Viso was fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Helio Castroneves, Alex Tagliani, Ed Carpenter, Graham Rahal and Rubens Barrichello.

The start of the race was delayed by rain for an hour and a half.

Once it did get started, pole-sitter Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing looked to have the car to beat. But he fell back through the field and, with just over 30 laps to go, spun, slammed the wall and his day was over.

Broken suspension part, the three-time Indy 500 winner and reigning series champion said.

Castroneves had the lead with 84 laps to go but, on old tires, his car snapped loose. Castroneves kept control of his Team Penske car but Hunter-Reay shot past and took the lead.

Hunter-Reay in his Andretti Autosport Chevrolet-powered Dallara, kept the lead through a final green-flag stop and then when the race went yellow on lap 42 for light rain.

When the race restarted with 33 laps to go, Hunter-Reay moved out to a quick lead. He again jumped out front when the race restarted with 24 laps to go after Franchitti’s wreck.

From there he pulled away for the easy victory.

Hunter-Reay, a 31-year-old resident of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has now won twice at Milwaukee, previously winning the 2004 Champ Car race by winning the pole and leading every lap.

This is his third 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: 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 40th 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).

Points leader Will Power of Team Penske finished 12th.

Hinchcliffe moved to second in points past Scott Dixon, who was penalized for jumping a restart.

Results Saturday of the Milwaukee IndyFest IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.015 mile Milwaukee Mile, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (2) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 225, Running

2. (6) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 225, Running

3. (8) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 225, Running

4. (20) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevy, 225, Running

5. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 225, Running

6. (4) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 225, Running

7. (13) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running

8. (22) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 225, Running

9. (11) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running

10. (3) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara-Chevy, 225, Running

11. (21) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 225, Running

12. (14) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 225, Running

13. (7) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running

14. (19) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 224, Running

15. (9) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 224, Running

16. (25) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running

17. (18) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 224, Running

18. (15) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Chevy, 220, Running

19. (1) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 193, Contact

20. (24) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 107, Contact

21. (16) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 106, Contact

22. (10) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 105, Mechanical

23. (12) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 93, Mechanical

24. (23) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Lotus, 62, Contact

25. (17) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 48, Mechanical

Race Statistics

Winners average speed: 122.020

Time of Race: 01:52:17.8119

Margin of victory: 5.1029 seconds

Cautions: 5 for 51 laps

Lead changes: 5 among 5 drivers

Lap Leaders:

Franchitti 1 – 63

Castroneves 64 – 68

Hinchcliffe 69 –

Viso 70 – 96

Castroneves 97 – 141

Hunter-Reay 142 – 225

Point Standings: Power 274, Hinchcliffe 243, Dixon 239, Hunter-Reay 233, Castroneves 231, Pagenaud 216, Franchitti 205, Kanaan 200, Briscoe 193, Servia 173.

(This story will be updated shortly)

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 16 2012
No Comment

Comments are closed.