Hunter-Reay wins at Milwaukee for second straight year
West Allis, WI (Sports Network) - Ryan Hunter-Reay has figured out The Milwaukee Mile pretty well after winning the IndyCar Series race here for the second year in a row.
Hunter-Reay, the defending series champion, passed Takuma Sato for the lead with 53 laps to go and was uncatchable from there. He crossed the finish line 4.8 seconds ahead of Helio Castroneves, the current points leader. Hunter-Reay became the first driver to win back-to-back IndyCar races at Milwaukee since Tony Kanaan did it in 2006 and '07. He also continued Andretti Autosport's dominance at this one-mile racetrack, as Michael Andretti's teams have won five of the last nine races here. Andretti's marketing company promoted this 250- mile event for the second year.
"The (No. 1) team did just awesome today," said Hunter-Reay, who led three times for a total of 65 laps. "We had varying levels of grip through the whole race, different levels of balance, and we just stuck with it. In the end, we knew what we had to do to win. What a race it was."
Hunter-Reay joined Andretti teammate James Hinchcliffe as the only drivers who have won twice this year. Hunter-Reay's first victory of the season came in the April 7 race in Birmingham, Ala.
With the win, Hunter-Reay moved up to second in the point standings. He is now 16 points behind Castroneves. Hunter-Reay finished second to Castroneves in last weekend's race at Texas.
One year ago, Hunter-Reay put his championship season in full gear by winning at Milwaukee and then scoring victories in the next two races -- Iowa and Toronto. He also won at Baltimore later in the season. Hunter-Reay captured his first IndyCar title by just three points.
It's the third time Hunter-Reay has driven into victory circle at Milwaukee. He won a Champ Car sanctioned race here in 2004, leading all 250 laps.
"It's just a huge win for us," Michael Andretti said. "Last year, this win kicked-started Ryan's year. Hopefully, it's going to do it again."
Castroneves second-place run came after he started 17th.
"It was a great day for us," he said. "It's not a win, but you know what, I'm very, very happy."
Power, who is Castroneves' teammate at Team Penske, claimed his first podium of the season with a third-place finish.
E.J. Viso finished fourth, while Hinchcliffe complete the top-five.
Scott Dixon took the sixth spot, followed by Sato, Dario Franchitti, who started 23rd, Justin Wilson and Kanaan. Sato led the most laps with 109.
Marco Andretti started on the pole and led the first 61 laps, but Andretti experienced a refueling problem during his first pit stop and suffered a mechanical issue later in the race, which led to his 20th-place finish. He is 50 points behind Castroneves.
06/15 20:27:15 ET