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article imageINDYCAR: Hunter-Reay repeats as winner in Iowa

By John Duarte     Jul 19, 2015 in Sports
Newton - It hasn't exactly been a great season for former IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Saturday night in Iowa may have been exactly what he needed as the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series son draws to a close.
Hunter-Reay has placed in the Top 5 only twice in 13 races this year, and four times in the Top 10. Of the total of 40 laps he's led in races this season, 37 came Saturday night at Iowa Speedway, where he won the Iowa Corn 300 for the second straight year and third in the last four years.
“It feels great to be back in Victory Lane,” Hunter-Reay said. “Certainly, I am not happy with the way this season's gone at all. More than anything right now, I feel relief. It's like a big exhale.”
Hunter-Reay, who said the “last 20 laps felt like an hour and a half,” grabbed the lead on the final restart of the race, with 24 laps to go, and stayed out in front the rest of the way.
“This one, we really had to work for,” an elated Hunter-Reay said from Victory Lane after the race. “The No. 28 DHL Honda was on rails at the end. After a tough season, this one is really nice.”
Just as was the case in 2014 at the Iowa race, Josef Newgarden was runner up to Hunter-Reay at the finish. He called Saturday's race “disappointing,” saying he failed to capitalize on a “great effort all weekend.” Newgarden fell half a second short of winning the race.
“We had a great race car. I think we had a car to win,” said the runner up. “To finish second was bittersweet.”
Newgarden believed he “could have done something” to overtake Hunter-Reay if the two had encountered some lapped traffic or the Iowa Corn 300 was 20 laps longer.
“We didn't have what we needed at the end,” Newgarden said. “I'm really sad we lost to be honest..”
Series rookie Sage Karam finished third in the race, despite some actions on the track that left his competitors less than enthused. One of those drivers was IndyCar owner/driver Ed Carpenter, who voiced his displeasure with the rookie's tactics that led to a close encounter during the race.
“(Karam) should have been penalized on the spot,” said Carpenter. “He has no clue.”
Juan Pablo Montoya holds a 42-point lead on the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers standings as the battle rages on behind him. Graham Rahal's recent surge places him second with 403 points, while Scott Dixon is third only six points back. Another six points separates Dixon from Helio Castroneves, who has a one-point margin over Will Power, the series defending champion.
The championship run promises to go down to the wire with only three races remaining on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is host to the next race, the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, on Aug. 2, 2015.
More about verizon indycar series, Ryan HunterReay, josef newgarden, iowa speedway, Auto racing
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