Hunter-Reay steals victory at Iowa Speedway

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on July 13, 2014 2:36 pm

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Man, that was crazy. We took the tires. It’s a big gamble and my tires were shot before that. We took them and credit to Ray Gosselin and Michael Andretti for making (new tires) call because I didn’t think we’d have enough time. The safety crew did an excellent job getting that cleaned up so that we can go racing in the end so that was really great. Man that was fun. It was like a video game at the end. It was just shredding though it. The DHL No. 28 Honda was just on fire at the end. It was really, really good. The thing was on rails at the end and I knew we had no shot where we were before on the older tires so man we went for it. We had such a tough day. We had a tough day in the pits. It’s been a tough day on track. Things were just not going right. That’s why you’ve just got to keep your head in it and be ready for whatever comes in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Just a great day, you know. Congratulations to Honda. I had the power where I needed it there at the end. The new Firestones were just unreal. I hope I can do that again sometime. That was fun where everybody’s on old tires and I’m on new. That was amazing.”

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, Chairman, President and CEO, Andretti Autosport, Strategist on No. 28 DHL Honda: “We stole it today but I’ll take it any way we can get it. What’s really weird is that we talked about it before the race – with 15 laps to go and a yellow comes out what are we going to do. When we talked about it we said we should think about pitting. Then when it came time to do it I was like, ‘Screw it.’ What were we going to do, lose three spots? And I knew if we came in a lot would come in behind us – and you saw what happened. We’ve lost many that way and to keep the record going here at Iowa – we love coming to Iowa; it’s such an awesome racetrack and we’ve got such great luck here. It was a day we probably weren’t supposed to win but, like I said, we’ll take it any way we can get it.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): “That was the weirdest experience I’ve had in a race. It’s almost unfair. You put on tires like that and you just have so much more grip than everybody. It was a great call. And I knew it was going to be an interesting race because Graham and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) had done it in front of me and I thought, ‘If this is going to play out, it will be between us.’ And Ryan got a good jump and I got a good jump with it and we kept carving up to the top and I knew the laps were clicking down and with about five to go, I realized, ‘OK, this is going to get really good.’ Just not enough time to get Ryan. I think it’s really cool finishing on the podium. Obviously it’s a great job for our whole team, especially after qualifying, we made a bit of an error there. We just did an amazing job tonight. Our team was solid. We had such good pit stops, really good strategy and kept our head in the game the entire way. We didn’t have the best balance all race long, but there were parts when we were really fast. We just kept with it and at the end there, we made it when it counted. (On bad luck this season) Well, there’s nothing I can say that happened that was bad luck tonight. We were catching all the breaks we could. We could have been a little better on balance. We could’ve been higher up in qualifying, but there’s nothing that happened that was out of our control really. It was great to have a run that was representative to our pace. We were definitely a top-10 car tonight. Probably got a little more than we needed there in the new tire strategy, but this got what it deserves. They work really hard and do a great job. They have great leadership and great management and great engineers. I’m just happy for our group really because they work hard for it and to get a result every now and then is something you need obviously and we’ve been waiting for it.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): “Strong result? Well, it was a good one. What can I say? We had a good day. I mean, we lead 247 laps out of 300. I think we showed them what we had. At the end there sometimes strategies and gambles play out. We got played. Fair enough. I’ve won races like that, too. I lost today. It’s just hard to take it. But I think to win races we got to run up front, and that’s what we’ve been doing in the past three races. We just got to keep doing that. There’s nothing I can do about it. It always takes a little bit to get a bunch of guys to synchronize and work together with a big change like it was. The driver is definitely the most important piece that holds the whole team together. So I feel comfortable now. They feel comfortable with me. I think I gained their trust. I think I proved we can win races. We’re slowly making big progresses, and I’m extremely comfortable there now. I hope I can give Chip his first win of the year so far because it hasn’t been as good a year as we thought it was going to be.

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “It’s just a shame. We were having a strong night. At the start we had some problems and lost some places, but we had a lot of racing to go. When the car came back to us, I started to work my way back through the field, passed some cars and was pretty optimistic. Then we started having an electrical problem that eventually shut down the entire car for a good five, six seconds. The second time it happened I just ducked into pit lane because you just can’t take the chance to run under those conditions. It’s a tough break for the Mistic E-Cig crew because the car was definitely very competitive and we could have had a very good night. We have had good cars so far this season, we just have to keep working hard and things will turn around for the KVSH Racing team.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Hitachi Chevy was awesome today. I’m really proud of the team. To be honest, from the first practice session to the race we changed a lot on this car and it was great. We were running in the top three most of the day. Obviously, finishing in the eighth position isn’t where we deserved to finish. But it was a gamble there at the end. We are leaving here with the championship lead and that is what we need to focus on moving forward.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “Our Fuzzy’s car had understeer all race and we were just hanging on at the end of the race. We had to pit for tires late and that got us from 14th to 5th in the last nine laps. Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and Josef (Newgarden) and others pitted at the right time for tires. We didn’t get that just right at the end. But I’m happy with fifth tonight. Our crew was spectacular on the pit stops too. I would like to apologize to Juan Pablo (Montoya for the lap 280 incident). I’m sorry that he crashed, but I didn’t do it on purpose. I was hanging on with my tires and I didn’t know that he was there. I never saw him up next to me. And we didn’t bump. By the time my spotter (Lee Bentham) mentioned left corner to me, I went low to avoid pushing up towards the wall. I’m sorry that happened. I’ll plan to talk to him about it too.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “I just couldn’t see anything. It was all bad smoke and until I hit him, I couldn’t see anything. I tried to avoid it. (The season) has been difficult. So many unfortunate events. Somewhere we’ll turn up and unfortunately it wasn’t this weekend. Hopefully we can keep pushing and do better in Toronto. Not a lot of damage, just bad luck.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda): “I made a mistake and spun. I went below the white line on that restart, and it obviously didn’t end well. I feel sorry for the team, because they gave me a very good car today. This is not the way we wanted to end our day. We’ll regroup and head to Toronto.”


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