Hunter-Reay, Andretti win at Milwaukee
West Allis, WI (Sports Network) - Ryan Hunter-Reay gave his team owner and race promoter Michael Andretti a victory in Saturday's IZOD IndyCar Series race at The Milwaukee Mile.
Hunter-Reay, who drives the No. 28 car for Andretti Autosport, put on a dominating performance in the second half of the 225-mile Milwaukee IndyFest. He grabbed the lead from Helio Castroneves on lap 141 and then ran in front for the remaining 84 circuits around this flat one-mile oval.
"I was saving my tires behind (Castroneves), kind of biding my time, saving some fuel," Hunter-Reay said. "Everybody was strong on new tires. I just wanted to see where he went off. It started happening through (turn) two. Lap after lap, he looked weaker through there. I still let it go, and didn't push too hard.
"Then he had a wiggle, then another wiggle, then he got off into the gray. I just went for it and got him into turn three."
Hunter-Reay crossed the finish line 5.1 seconds ahead of Tony Kanaan for his sixth career IndyCar win. He also won a Champ Car Series race at Milwaukee in 2004, leading every lap in that event.
"This is the track that I had one of my best races ever, and we just duplicated it today," Hunter-Reay added.
Kanaan's second-place run marked his best finish this season.
"I didn't have anything at the end for Ryan, but it was a great event," he said.
James Hinchcliffe's third-place finish allowed Andretti to take two of the three podium positions.
Andretti saved the IndyCar race at Milwaukee from being canceled in February when he announced he would promote the event. Earlier on Saturday, Andretti said the race would return here in 2013.
"I think the whole Andretti Autosport marketing team did an incredible job," he mentioned. "My hat is off to those guys. We have a great team there, as well as a great racing team. I think we showed that here getting two cars on the podium. I'm really excited about that."
Oriol Servia finished fourth, followed by E.J. Viso, Castroneves and Alex Tagliani. Ed Carpenter, Graham Rahal and Rubens Barrichello completed the top-10.
Scott Dixon received a drive through penalty midway through the race and wound up finishing 11th. Dixon had moved from the 21st starting position into the top-10 before IndyCar officials penalized him for passing prior to the green flag being displayed for a restart on lap 103. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver questioned officials on their call.
"I really don't know what happened on the restart where we got penalized," Dixon said. "I think the one they waved off was the one we got out of line when E.J. 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."
After the race concluded, officials acknowledged an error led to Dixon's penalty.
"Due to a glitch in technology, there was a discrepancy between the official race clock and the clock on the replay machine," IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield said. "Therefore, the review of the jumped start was one lap off, leading race control to make the call on the wrong lap.
"We have informed the Ganassi team of this error, and race control is taking every step necessary to address it going forward. The race control team will be meeting first thing Monday morning to review the issue and explore remedies in advance of the (June 23) race at Iowa."
Dixon was one of seven drivers who received a 10-grid spot penalty for this race due to an unapproved engine change earlier in the week.
His Ganassi teammate, Dario Franchitti, crashed with 30 laps remaining and ended up finishing 19th. One lap prior to his incident, Franchitti made contact with Ryan Briscoe while the two were battling for position.
"I was on Ryan's inside, and he just kept coming down there," Franchitti said. "I just don't think his spotter told him I was there. I had half a car on the rumble strip. The next lap, I went in there and something broke in the back end of the car."
Franchitti, who won this race last year, started on the pole and led the first 63 laps.
Despite a 12th-place finish, Will Power remained atop the championship standings. Power's lead is now 31 points over new second-place Hinchcliffe.
"It's not the worst result today, but we expect to do better every time we come to race," Power said. "We are still on top of the points, which is where we want to be, and now will look forward to Iowa."
Dixon is 35 points behind Power, while Franchitti, the three-time defending series champion, is 69 points out of the lead.
06/16 21:23:10 ET