Hunter-Reay “steals” Iowa IndyCar victory

Iowa (credit: Chris Jones)

Andretti Autosport’s lead IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay has admitted feeling as if he “stole” his win this weekend having only led the last two laps at Iowa.

For 247 of the races 300 laps it was Tony Kanaan in the Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet that led the field around the speedway but he fell foul of a number of late cautions where many pitted for fresh rubber and put the Brazilian down in to his final finishing position of third place.

One of these very caution periods was for a rather feisty incident involving Ed Carpenter and Juan Pablo Montoya. Carpenter, racing for his own team, took a low line round the banking not realising the Team Penske driver was trying a move up his inside and that span the Colombian into the wall. Needless to say that the next  lap round – and with Montoya out of the car – the gesture given to Carpenter could be best described as “gosh darn it you heathen.”

That caution period really set up Hunter-Reay for the final push, he pitted on lap 284 and rejoined in 10th, the track went green again on lap 292 and six laps later he took the lead from Kanaan and was not challenged until the end.

“I’ve learned in the years of experience that I’ve had in the Verizon IndyCar Series that you just have to keep your head in it,” said Hunter-Reay, who posted his third victory of the season. “No matter what, you have to charge hard and be ready for it. Whether it’s a street circuit, short oval, races can turn. We made the right call and we had the car that could take it.”

For Kanaan the metaphorical mugging didn’t stop with just Hunter-Reay. Sarah Fischer Hartman Racing’s Josef Newgarden, who pitted the same time as the Andretti driver, managed to get through to second place and therefore match his best finishing position.

In fourth place and with an understated performance was Scott Dixon in the second Chip Ganassi car, that result was probably not what he needed in the points table with 331 points he is in eighth place and a whole 14o points off points leader Helio Castroneves – who finished eighth at Iowa.

For Marco Andretti, who is a place above Dixon in the championship standings, suffered another massive engine failure similar to that at Texas with his engine providing an on track barbecue for the hard working marshals.

The next race for the Verizon IndyCar Series is the next in a series of double headers, this time an over the border excursion into Canada.