Hunter-Reay repeats at Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on April 27, 2014 9:13 pm
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HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA POST-RACE QUOTES:

MICHAEL ANDRETTI (Owner, Andretti Autosport): “I’m really proud of this whole team. Marco (Andretti) did a hell of a job. He drove his way to the front there and Ryan (Hunter-Reay drove a perfect race. Feels good after the last one for sure.” (On Hunter-Reay strategy): “It just played out that way. We were lucky that Will (Power) made that mistake, and that gave up the top position. That was really important. Just the way everything fell with the rain and how it dried out. It came to us. It was a great day.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “I’ve been anxious (to compete) since we left Long Beach. What a dream to have a car like that at that distance. Great to get the No. 28 DHL car with a Honda at a Honda (sponsored) race into Victory Circle. (Long Beach) should have been a great result, but we got it today.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda): “It was fun. If you look at the onboard, the start was incredible. Very treacherous and very difficult to see. We had a little moment with Montoya at the start and dropped to 13th. The SPHM team did a great job and the car was fast and the Honda power was great. The car was really good all race and I was able to go forward. It’s a good start of the season for us.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Verizon Chevrolet was really fast on the wet tires and I just got in trouble in turn 5. I keep moving my braking point further and further into the corners and I got caught going too far. It’s tough to not push past the limits with wet patches everywhere. We really didn’t have the pace in the dry anyway, but that sure didn’t help our cause when I went off course. We may have just been a bit heavy on downforce. Still a fifth-place finish today and we have the points lead going into the month of May.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing): “I had another fast car and another disappointing result. Once again, I feel bad for the KVSH Racing guys. They did a great job. I want to thank my sponsors, especially Hydroxycut for their support this weekend. We just have to move on and try and win the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.”

MIKE CONWAY (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “It was a pretty long day for us today. I guess we’ll have to take 14th from starting 21st. We struggled in the wet with overall grip. I tried to make a few moves in the early portion of the race and they just didn’t work out. We felt quicker on the slicks, especially on the earlier segments of the runs. But once everyone had their tires up to temperature, we couldn’t get up to make a move. It’s frustrating. I hope we can improve on the road circuits. I’m excited to go to Indy for the test this week on the road circuit and race in the upcoming Grand Prix of Indianapolis. But we need to work on the setup some more to fight for a win there.”

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “I think my performance was OK, nothing special. The pace was good even when we put on the red tires. The conditions were tricky on those tires and the first couple of laps on them were not easy. It was difficult and I spun trying to defend a position. I went into the corner a bit deep and went down into first gear and short shifted into second and I spun. Thankfully, I stayed on the lead lap and managed to finish 16th.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chevrolet): “It was definitely an interesting race with the weather mixed in there. Hopefully we put on a good show for everybody. We were trying. We seemed to burn up the front tires quickly. The same thing happened on the wets after Helio (Castroneves) jumped the start and passed a couple of cars which is typical, I guess. We had to fight back and had a good pit stop exchange. (Will) Power pitted early and we were able to put down some good lap and gain some spots. We just didn’t have enough for Marco. He did a hell of a job, so congrats to Andretti for a 1-2 finish. The race was really fun. In the wet conditions, there was a little puddling and standing water which made it pretty tough… especially in the fast sections around the back. It was one of those races where at the start you kept it clean and stay out of trouble. I think Helio (Castroneves) got a bit greedy on the restart and jumped us which was frustrating because he backed us up some. It was fun to race with Montoya; he was making some pretty good turns onto the frontstraight. We tried to pull as much as could out of it and kinda burnt the front tires off the thing trying to push so hard. Congratulations to (race-winner Ryan) Hunter-Reay and good job by Marco (Andretti). More importantly, a big thanks to the fans who stuck it out through all this weather.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): “We had a good car in the wet. I thought it did a pretty good job in the wet. We had trouble with the radio, so I tried to plug myself back in while driving. So that was fun. I had a good restart on cold tires. We were going through the esses, and I was right behind the No. 9 car (Scott Dixon) . He had a big moment, and I lifted then ended up having a bigger moment myself. I went in and I kind of referenced and measured with the wet, and I did the same thing I was doing in wet. He lifted more than I expected and I had to lift a lot more and it started tail slapping. After that, something broke in the car..I don’t know what happened.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “You couldn’t see a thing. You were getting on the brakes on the straight because you couldn’t see where you were going and you were hoping the guys behind you were in the same boat and fortunately they were. The spray would die down just enough and you’d accelerate again. No one could see a thing. It was an interesting race. We had a car stop in our pit box and the Dale Coyne Racing guys dealt with it great. We lost a couple of positions because of that but we stayed focused and all in all it was not a bad day considering I started 16th and we were up to sixth. I’m pleased with it. I think this was a good day but obviously, we’re already thinking about the next one.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske): “Man, what a race. The AAA guys did a helluva job once again. Unfortunately I confused our pit stall with the 19 car of Justin Wilson. We were pitted right beside each other and our colors were very similar. I stopped in their pit stall, which was bad, but I also had to serve a stop and go penalty. With the cautions the way they fell, I could never get a full green flag lap to serve my penalty. I feel so bad for the guys because that was completely on me. Thank you to AAA. The Chevrolet was great today. This is a race we shouldn’t forgot because we don’t want that to happen again.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): “It was a tough day. I think tough for everyone. Very difficult conditions to figure out, We salvaged what we could there at the end. We could have been a little bit higher potentially for the day. I think we had a top-5 car. It would have been tough to challenge with the leaders but we’ll take what we can today, take some good points and go on to the next one and try to do a little bit better.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 AFS KVAFS Racing Chevrolet): “It was disappointing to finish 18th as we had been consistent in the top-10. We had an amazing car in the dry conditions, but in the wet we really struggled. At the beginning I had to let cars through because I couldn’t see anything from the spray and once we got back into the race pace I didn’t have anything. We had a great initial strategy by staying out longer than the rest, but by the end we couldn’t make it work. We were the only ones that could have done a two-stop race because of all the fuel saving we had done, but by the race being shortened by that couple last yellows everyone was then on a two stop and we stuck at the back. We had an amazing car, so I am very proud of all the KV AFS guys. We go on to Indy and will get back to business. We are so close to getting something special, we just need to get all the bits working together.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 Snapple Honda): “Heck of a team effort. I’m so proud of Andretti Autosport. I’m really proud of how we can adapt to different conditions. Not only the drivers, but the teams. They gave us good cars. … I just put my head down and looked forward; awesome job by Andretti Autosport. The Snapple car didn’t have much for the DHL car so we definitely need to hit the drawing board and see how he (Ryan Hunter-Reay) kicked my butt today. I was driving blind today – didn’t have a radio, so the only way I knew when to pit, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, Ryan stop and thought ‘I guess I’m coming in the next lap’. It was definitely a blind race, but I just had my head down and tried to hit my marks.”

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