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Apr 28, 2014 - 09:22 PM
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Hunter Reay Wins Rain Delayed Race in Alabama
Posted by: BGerhart on Apr 28, 2014 - 09:19 PM
Feature Articles
Hunter Reay Wins Rain Delayed Race in Alabama


By Brad Gerhart

After a lengthy rain delay the Verizon IndyCar series finally got under way in Alabama late Sunday afternoon for an hour and forty minute timed event.

In the early stages of the race pole sitter Will Power led the field of 23 cars with a sizable lead, until Power went too deep into the hairpin and narrowly missed the outside wall. Ryan Hunter-Reay took advantage of Power's error and grabbed the lead from the Penske driver. “We were lucky Will made that mistake,” Michael Andertti said on NBC Sportsnet.

On lap 22 Sebastien Bourdais spun out rookie Mikhail Aleshin and caused the race's second caution. While under yellow Carlos Munoz lost control of his Honda and heavily damaged the front nose and suspension of his car, which ended his day quite early. Bourdais also got penalized for the incident with Aleshin, although the Frenchman was quite upset with the ruling. Helio Castroneves also got penalized shortly after for stopping in the wrong pit box, his Penske team and Dale Coyne's Justin Wilson have similar pit uniforms and were side-by-side in the pits.

 

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Once Hunter-Reay got around Sebastian Saavedra for the race lead he never looked back and his Andretti Autosport teammate, Marco Andretti never could apply any kind of pressure. Andretti ran an exceptional race, considering he had no radio communications during portions of the race. “A blind race,” Andretti said on television. “He gapped me too much, then he sustained it. I'm sure if I started closing on him, he was probably conserving his tires. He probably had a lot more in the tank, as well.,” said Andretti who had his best finish since Iowa, back in 2012.

A late race caution with under 10 minutes left bunched up the field when Aleshin hit the wall. However, the safety crew had quite the clean up duty and were unable to put the tires back in place before the clock ran out on the race on lap 69.

After three poor Alabama results, Hunter-Reay has won the past two events at Barber Motorsports Park and gained ground on Power, the series points leader who finished the race in fifth. Hunter-Reay is now only 18 points back of Power. “This track used to be one of our weakest points. To put Andretti 1-2, it's impressive. It's a total team effort,” said Hunter-Reay. “Everybody has been working hard to move in the same direction. It's been a very strong start to the season for this team overall.”

IndyCar is not back on track until May 10th, when they race the road course circuit at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the very first time in the series history. “I'm excited for it. I hope it's good weather and we get a good response from people coming out,” said Dixon. “I think with the layout we actually have, it's going to be a hell of a race, edge-of-your-seat stuff. I can't wait."


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