Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ryan Hunter-Reay wins for Andretti at the Milwaukee Mile

Ryan Hunter-Reay put his Team DHL-Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevy in DHL Victory Lane for Andretti Autosport at the Milwaukee Mile and said "Happy Father's Day" to the camera, that he wouldn't be there without his dad. He wouldn't have been there without owner Michael Andretti, whose Andretti Sports Marketing took over promoting the event when IndyCar's initial schedule omitted the track where his family saw so many victories.

"It's amazing. First of all, thank you to all of the fans for coming out, filling a great number of seats in here. What a race. I know we would all have liked to see a little more passing, but from the car it was so busy, just trying to hang on to it. But getting a win for DHL and Sun Drop, it's unreal." Hunter-Reay said. "The script is perfect. This is an Andretti Sports Marketing event. Michael loves the sport and does a lot for it. Milwaukee and IndyCar go hand-in-hand. This is the oldest racing facility in the country and we just won. It's awesome."

Hunter-Reay took the lead on Lap 142 when Helio Castroneves got loose and the No. 28 easily held off second-place finisher Tony Kanaan. James Hinchcliffe passed Oriol Servia on the high side with eight to go and finished third. EJ Viso followed in fifth.

Michael Andretti
Photo by Lisa  Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs
"It's Milwaukee, man. That's why we love coming here, it's always a good show. And you know the rain delay through us for a bit of a loop. That first ten was a bit stale, there was no two grooves. We had to take some time to build that, but after that first stop it went good ol' fashioned Milwaukee. It was great short track racing, cars were falling off, guys were having to drive it."said Hinchcliffe. Obviously Ryan here in winner's circle and another crop on the podium in a race that Michael took over and brought back to life, it means a lot for everybody. "

The IZOD IndyCar Series' third consecutive race on an oval provided solid racing after an hour-long rain delay. Dario Franchitti led the field to the green flag and dominated the early part of the race, but as cautions and pit stops slowed the race, he fell back and with 31 laps to go slammed into the SAFER Barrier, making his bid to repeat as series champion doubtful.

Scott Dixon had a fast car, but was assessed a pass-through penalty for jumping the restart on Lap 103. However, neither Dixon nor anyone in the booth could see where he'd done anything wrong. Dixon managed  to work his way back up to 12th. Dixon said, "I really don't know what happened on the restart where we got penalized. I think the one they waved off was the one we got out of line when EJ Viso was trying to restart at 20 mph. I was in first gear and when it went green, I went. I don't know what the issue was but I'm really looking forward to the explanation from INDYCAR. It's a shame for the Target team and that punishment is pretty harsh."

Other victims of the Milwaukee Mile:
Simona de Silvestro, whose car suffered damage when she spun on Lap 66. "I just made a mistake. TK (Tony Kanaan) passed me and Oriol (Servia) tried to tuck behind him, and I just got in the marbles. It's just unfortunate. Sometimes you make mistakes; that's what happens."

Rookie Josef Newgarden's engine was sputtering, prompting an early pit stop. He ran over the air hammer on the way out of the pits, and instead of serving a stop-and-go penalty, took the car behind the wall. He rejoined the race around Lap 95.

Last week's winner Justin Wilson exited the race when the Honda engine that caused him to start the race with a 10-position penalty gave way.

James Jakes and Takuma Sato made contact, Lap 108, putting both drivers out of the race. "I just think Takuma got low on the inside and was loose and I was caught on the outside, and he just came straight in the side of me." Jake said. "I haven't seen a proper replay yet, but there you go, you can see it there on the TV. Maybe his banzai moves are a little bit too much at times."

JR Hildebrand had mechanical issues at the same time, stopping on the track at the same time as Jakes and Sato's wreck.

Finishing order 

1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 225 Running
2 Tony Kanaan 225 Running
3 James Hinchcliffe 225 Running
4 Oriol Servia 225 Running
5 EJ Viso 225 Running
6 Helio Castroneves 225 Running
7 Alex Tagliani 225 Running
8 Ed Carpenter 225 Running
9 Graham Rahal 225 Running
10 Rubens Barrichello 225 Running
11 Scott Dixon 225 Running
12 Will Power 225 Running
13 Simon Pagenaud 224 Running
14 Ryan Briscoe 224 Running
15 Marco Andretti 224 Running
16 Mike Conway 224 Running
17 Charlie Kimball 224 Running
18 Katherine Legge 220 Running
19 Dario Franchitti 193 Contact
20 Takuma Sato 107 Contact
21 James Jakes 106 Contact
22 JR Hildebrand 105 Mechanical
23 Justin Wilson 93 Mechanical
24 Simona de Silvestro 62 Contact
25 Josef Newgarden 48 Mechanical
IZOD IndyCar Top Ten

1. Will Power   274
2. James Hinchcliffe   243
3. Scott Dixon   239
4. Ryan Hunter-Reay   233
5. Helio Castroneves   231
6. Simon Pagenaud (R)   216
7. Dario Franchitti   205
8. Tony Kanaan   200
9. Ryan Briscoe   193
10. Oriol Servia   173