WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Winning in Wisconsin is nothing new for Ryan Hunter-Reay. He got his second win in IndyCar there in 2004, when the series was known as Champ Car, and he made it two at the ‘Milwaukee Mile’ last night.
Hunter-Reay, who started the race from the second position, drove nearly flawlessly after taking the lead from Helio Castroneves on lap 142 and survived minor problems on a couple of restarts to win the Milwaukee IndyFest on Saturday night.
“What a story line,” said Hunter-Reay after the race. He said he wasn’t happy with a few of his restarts, but managed to hold off his challengers. “You really have to look after the tires, know when to use them, know when not to. We pounced, ready to go when somebody slipped up.”
Hunter-Reay said that the Milwaukee Mile is a tough place to race, adding that “225 laps around here feels like a 500-mile race.” He went on to say that he likes racing on the short ovals, in places like Milwaukee and New Hampshire, where he had won his last race in August 2011. Three of Hunter-Reay’s six career wins have come on mile-long oval tracks.
“It’s just a really challenging, different type of racing,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”
Tony Kanaan finished second in the race and James Hinchcliffe was third.
There was a bit of controversy during the race when IndyCar officials felt Scott Dixon had jumped a restart and assessed him a drive-through penalty. Dixon, who ended up finishing in 11th place, protested the decision immediately after the race and IndyCar officials announced they had made a mistake.
Race director Beaux Barfield said a glitch in the scoring and timing system caused officials to look at the wrong replay and flag Dixon for the infraction. “It was obviously the wrong call, based on the reality of the situation,” Barfield said, but added there was nothing officials could do to rectify the situation after the race.
Will Power continues to lead the IndyCar series drivers' standings after eight races. Hinchcliffe moved into second place, 31 points behind the leader, and Dixon drops a place in the standings to third.
The IZOD IndyCar Series continues its string of Saturday night races with the Iowa Corn Indy 250 in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday, June 23.