Hunter-Reay Harvests The Victory At Corn 250 IndyCar Race

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 24 2012

Ryan Hunter-Reay won his second straight IndyCar race. (INDYCAR/LAT USA)

Andretti Autosport had a big – and late – night at Iowa Speedway Saturday as driver Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate Marco Andretti finished first and second respectively there in the Iowa Corn 250 IZOD IndyCar Series Race.

Hunter-Reay’s second consecutive short track victory was reason enough to celebrate. Closing to three points of IZOD IndyCar Series championship front-runner Will Power was a bonus.

Hunter-Reay, who prevailed at the Milwaukee Mile a week earlier following a 90-minute rain delay, won the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway under caution. The start was delayed 40 minutes because of a thunderstorm.

“Awesome,” team owner Michael Andretti said. “I’ll tell you, it was a great day. I’m so happy for Ryan. He did a great job, and so happy for the whole team because all three cars are running really well. To come away with a 1, 2 after the unbelievable weekend we had last weekend is fantastic, and now that really puts us in with Ryan, as well, for a championship.”

Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car, led Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti by 1.2223 seconds on Lap 247 of 250 when the yellow flag flew the next lap for the No. 6 car driven by Katherine Legge making contact with the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 2.

Andretti, the 2011 race winner, earned his first podium finish of the season. Tony Kanaan followed his runner-up finish to Hunter-Reay at Milwaukee with a third place and Scott Dixon was fourth. Simon Pagenaud, who started last in the 25-car field, climbed to fifth in his fourth oval race.

“I said it was hard work last weekend at The Mile,” Hunter-Reay said, “but these short ovals, just they are a handful. Once you get to about halfway through the tire lights, you’re just doing everything you can to keep the car from hitting the wall on exits, and getting through traffic is extremely tough.”

Hunter-Reay, asked about his position in the point standings, said, “You know, it all comes down to consistency and that’s how championships are won. We have to be consistent. We have to go week‑in and week‑out and be consistently strong and be within the Top‑5, for sure, every weekend and certainly the Penske team will and the Ganassi guys and also some wild cards will show up on a lot of these street and road courses.

“So we have to be good there. But we do have Fontana on the schedule and our cars have been really good on the ovals, even the big ones. We just have to be consistent. That’s all we are really focused on, and we are at a point now where we are happen way through the season.

“So there’s still a long, long way to go. I for sure don’t feel like I’m almost there so to speak. I have the same feeling I had after I left Milwaukee: This is not good enough. We need to dig deeper and that’s what we need to do for sure.”

Also on June Saturday, Esteban Guerrieri held off Gustavo Yacaman by 0.4005 of a second to win the Sukup 100 at Iowa Speedway.

It was the third victory of the season for the driver of the No. 11 Pistas Argentinas/Sam Schmidt Motorsports with Curb Agajanian car. Guerrieri has finished in the top five in all but one race (seventh at Belle Isle), which has led him to the Firestone Indy Lights championship points lead.

Guerrieri, running second to teammate Tristan Vautier, inherited the lead on Lap 71 of 115 as Vautier was metered a drive-through penalty for blocking. He rallied to finish fourth (3.9 seconds back) in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/SSM with Curb Agajanian car.

Results Saturday of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 0.894 mile Iowa Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (7) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running

2. (3) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running

3. (19) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running

4. (8) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running

5. (25) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running

6. (2) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running

7. (11) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running

8. (21) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running

9. (20) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running

10. (13) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running

11. (14) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 248, Running

12. (23) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 247, Running

13. (18) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 244, Running

14. (22) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Lotus, 244, Running

15. (16) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Chevy, 243, Contact

16. (9) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 207, Mechanical

17. (4) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 195, Contact

18. (5) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 178, Contact

19. (10) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 178, Contact

20. (17) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 123, Mechanical

21. (15) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevy, 98, Mechanical

22. (12) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 95, Contact

23. (6) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 67, Contact

24. (24) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 67, Contact

25. (1) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 0, Mechanical

Race Statistics

Winners average speed: 129.371

Time of Race: 01:43:39.3031

Margin of victory: Under Caution

Cautions: 6 for 63 laps

Lead changes: 10 among 8 drivers

Lap Leaders:

Castroneves 1 – 51

Hinchcliffe 52 – 70

Barrichello 71

Jakes 72

Castroneves 73 – 154

Hunter-Reay 155 – 156

Dixon 157 – 176

Briscoe 177 – 178

Andretti 179 – 181

Dixon 182 – 237

Hunter-Reay 238 – 250

Point Standings: Power 286, Hunter-Reay 283, Dixon 271, Castroneves 261, Hinchcliffe 256, Pagenaud 246, Kanaan 235, Franchitti 216, Briscoe 205, Rahal 193.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 24 2012
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