Hunter-Reay steals victory at Iowa Speedway

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on July 13, 2014 2:36 pm
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[Source: INDYCAR press release]

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For the full results, reports, and post-race point standings, visit our 2014 Iowa Corn Indy 300 Event Summary.

NEWTON, Iowa (Saturday, July 12, 2014) – Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay stole what appeared to be a dominant race win from Tony Kanaan just two laps from the checkered flag in Saturday night’s Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB.

Kanaan, who started second in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, led 247 of the race’s 300 laps, but couldn’t stave off Hunter-Reay after a late-race pit stop for tires catapulted the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner to another Verizon IndyCar Series win at Iowa Speedway.

Hunter-Reay, whose No. 28 DHL car was running 10th on the Lap 292 restart, shot to victory by 0.5814 of a second over Josef Newgarden in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing entry.

Newgarden, who started 21st and was running 11th at the green flag for the final restart, also pitted for tires on Lap 284 and overtook Kanaan on the final lap to tie his career-best finish.

It was the fifth consecutive victory at Iowa Speedway for Andretti Autosport, which has won six of the eight races on the 0.894-mile, variably-banked oval. Hunter-Reay also won at Iowa Speedway in 2012.

“That was crazy. We took the tires as a big gamble and credit to (race engineer) Ray Gosselin and (race strategist/team owner) Michael Andretti for making that call,” said Hunter-Reay, whose two laps led were the first since he won the Indianapolis 500. “That was fun. It was like a video game at the end. We had a tough day, but you have to keep your head in it in the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

Hunter-Reay had recorded only two top-10 finishes in the six races since Indianapolis on May 25. He reclaimed third place in the championship standings – 32 points behind new front-runner Helio Castroneves of Team Penske, who finished eighth.

“We stole it today but I’ll take it any way we can get it,” Andretti said. “We’ve lost many that way. 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.”

It was Hunter-Reay’s third victory of the season, and though Kanaan tied his season high he was disappointed not to give Target Chip Ganassi Racing its first victory of the season. There have been eight different winners, representing six teams, in the 12 races.

“It’s such a shame because we dominated the race,” said Kanaan, who won the race in 2010 and finished on the podium each of the past five years at Iowa Speedway. “To win races we have to run up front, so we’ll take the third place and go to Toronto. I don’t think I left anything out there today.”

Teammate Scott Dixon, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion who claimed his first Verizon P1 Award of the season on July 11, finished fourth and Ed Carpenter advanced five positions relative to his starting spot for fifth place in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car.

No pole sitter has won at Iowa Speedway.

The race was red-flagged after 39 laps because of moisture on the racetrack and resumed after a 26-minute delay. The last red flag because of rain was at Sao Paulo in 2011.

IOWA CORN INDY 300 PRESENTED BY DEKALB POST-RACE NOTES:

· This is Ryan Hunter-Reay’s third win of 2014 and the 14th of his career. His last win came at the Indianapolis 500. He had not led a lap since his win at Indianapolis.

· This is the second win for Hunter-Reay at Iowa Speedway. He also won the race in 2012.

· This is Andretti Autosport’s sixth win at Iowa Speedway. The team has won the last five races here at Iowa with Tony Kanaan (2010), Marco Andretti (2011), Hunter-Reay (2012 and 2014) and James Hinchcliffe

· Josef Newgarden finished second. It is his first podium finish of the season and matches his career-best finish set at Baltimore in 2013.

· Tony Kanaan finished third. It is his second third-place finish of 2014.

· Scott Dixon finished fourth, his sixth top-five finish of the season.

· Ed Carpenter finished fifth, his second top-five finish of the season.

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NEXT PAGE: Quotes from much of the Verizon IndyCar Series field following the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway

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