Hunter-Reay wins again on IndyCar circuit
Teammate Marco Andretti finishes second
Ryan Hunter-Reay is on a serious roll now.
After winning IndyCar’s race last Sunday at Milwaukee, the Andretti Autosport driver won again Saturday night at Iowa Speedway.
Teammate Marco Andretti finished second. Andretti won last year’s race at the short track.
Hunter-Reay pushed his career win total to seven. He is within three points of the series points lead, trailing Will Power.
Hunter-Reay became the first driver to win consecutive oval-track races since Helio Castroneves in 2010. He credited Andretti for developing the chassis setup used in the race.
Dario Franchitti’s bid for a fourth consecutive championship went up in smoke with an engine failure on the pace lap. He was the pole winner by virtue of winning Friday’s main heat.
Title contenders started falling from there. Power, the series points leader going into the race, tried to turn down in Turn 2 only to find EJ Viso’s car sitting there. The contact took them both to the outside wall. Neither were injured, but Power acknowledged not knowing that Viso was there.
James Hinchcliffe, who was second to Power in points, crashed during a restart to end his strong run. He led early in the race.
Ryan Briscoe wasn’t a top championship contender, but he was poised to win the race until rookie Josef Newgarden hit him. Briscoe was on older tires and was preparing to pit. He said he gave Newgarden, who had fresher tires, the outside lane, but Newgarden seemed confused about Briscoe’s intentions.
They touched and crashed in about the same spot that Power and Viso hit. All of them escaped injury.
JR Hildebrand also had contact, a couple of times in fact. The first was a clip of Hunter-Reay that broke Hildebrand’s front wing. He had to pit for repairs. Later, he slapped the outside wall as his car drifted too high on the track.
The race started 35 minutes late due to rain. There were sprinkles for a few minutes beginning on Lap 65, but the storm cell stayed south of the track located along Interstate 80.
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