Hinchcliffe dominant at Iowa|
Newton, IA (Sports Network) - James Hinchcliffe scored his third IndyCar
Series victory of the season with a dominating performance on Sunday at Iowa
Hinchcliffe led 226 of 250 laps. He started second but passed Will Power, the
pole sitter, on the opening lap. Hinchcliffe only relinquished the lead during
pit stops. After the final round of stops, he grabbed the top position for
good with 34 laps to go.
Hinchcliffe crossed the finish line 1.5 seconds ahead of his teammate and
defending IndyCar champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay, to give Andretti Autosport a 1-2
finish at Iowa for the second year in a row. Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti
finished 1-2 in the 2012 race here.
In past years, this 250-mile race had been run on Saturday night.
"We (Andretti Autosport) have such a great track record here, but we knew it
was going to be different racing here in the day," Hinchcliffe said. "We took
a couple of gambles in the set-up, and we really wanted to make sure it was
going to be good in traffic. That car was hooked up from the get-go. We were
able to pull away from everybody on the restarts."
Hinchcliffe's first two career IndyCar victories came earlier this year. He
won the March 24 season-opener in St. Petersburg, Fla. and the May 5 race in
Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Hunter-Reay started 12th but patiently made his way through the field before
moving into second following the last round of pit stops. Early in the race,
Hunter-Reay clipped the rear of Graham Rahal's car and had to pit earlier than
expected for repairs on his front wing.
"It was so hard to catch back up to James through lapped traffic," Hunter-Reay
said. "Definitely had the car to win today but just made a mistake there
trying to get by Graham, keeping my foot in it. The front just had no grip on
it when I turned to pop out and pass him. To come out of this with second, I'm
Andretti Autosport has won five of the first 10 races this season. Hunter-Reay
won last weekend's event at Milwaukee. He also claimed the victory in the
April 7 race in Birmingham, Ala.
Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan finished third, while Ed Carpenter and
Rahal rounded out the top-five.
With his second-place run, Hunter-Reay moved to within nine points of leader
Helio Castroneves, who finished eighth. Castroneves won Saturday's heat
qualifying races at Iowa and collected nine bonus points.
"I drove as hard as I could today," Castroneves said. "When they told me I
came in eighth, I was like 'What?' I certainly felt we had a better car than
that. I guess in traffic we got held up coming in and out of the pits, which
cost us some positions."
Simon Pagenaud finished sixth, followed by Oriol Servia. Marco Andretti and
E.J. Viso completed the top-10. Power struggled throughout the race and ended
up finishing three laps down in 17th.
06/23 18:21:48 ET