Power's mistake gives victory to Hunter-Reay at wet, wild Barber

Power's mistake gives victory to Hunter-Reay at wet, wild Barber

28 April 2014 – Ryan Hunter-Reay needed something about his season to change, and judging by the strange series of events this weekend, someone was listening.  Hunter-Reay's title hopes got a much-needed boost after winning the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama for the second straight year after a long rain delay and a costly mistake from rival Will Power.

After heavy storms postponed the race for three hours, IndyCar announced that the 90-lap event would be shortened to a timed 100 minutes, and as a result, no one wasted any time attempting overtakes and bold strategy decisions.

Hunter-Reay started third on a wet track behind pole sitter Power and Andretti Autosport teammate James Hinchcliffe. The 2012 series champion immediately grabbed second place, but it was too late to track down Power, who was soon seven seconds ahead of the field.

But in the tricky, damp conditions, Power misjudged his entry into the hairpin on lap 16 and slid out into the gravel, narrowly missing a tyre wall.  That was all the opportunity the American needed, slipping by his rival and never looking back, winning the race under caution after a late crash by Mikhail Aleshin.  Hunter-Reay now sits second in the points standings, gaining three spots and trailing Power by just 18 points.

Power would rejoin the track in second after his incident, but through the wildly varying pit stop strategies, he would slip down the order and finish off the podium in P5.

Late in the race, a strong run from Marco Andretti would lift him up to second place in front of Scott Dixon, who had finished P2 in each of the last four years.

Several laps into the event, big movers included Tony Kanaan and Juan Pablo Montoya.  Kanaan had started last, but six laps in he had gained nine spots.  Late in the race he would climb as high as P4, but his final pit stop relegated him to a solid top ten finish in ninth.

Montoya had expressed concern this morning that he had not driven in the wet in many years, but for the middle part of the race his lap times were identical to the leaders.  Strong overtakes after a good battle with Dixon elevated him to fourth, but his race soon unraveled.

As many still struggled with the drying conditions, Oriol Servia took the first risk and went onto slick tyres.  Moments later Aleshin was hit by Sebastien Bourdais, sending the Russian rookie into a spin that would stall the car and bring out the first caution.

The entire field pitted and switched to dry tyres---a move that proved too costly to Carlos Munoz, who spun on the out lap and contacted the wall, prolonging the yellow.

After losing three spots on his pit stop, Montoya was punted off track by Sebastien Bourdais on the ensuing restart, remaining in the gravel hoping the safety crew would re-fire his engine.  Eventually they did, but he wound up in P21.  For his two incidents, Bourdais would later be given a drive-through penalty.

Sebastian Saavedra chose not to pit during that round of stops, and he would lead the race on wet tyres long past the formation of a dry line.  His gamble wouldn't pay off, as he soon pitted under green and finished P18.  As a result, Hunter-Reay regained the lead while Marco Andretti made quick work of Power and eventually Dixon.  Dixon would also jump Power on the final round of pit stops to claim the final step of the podium.

When Hunter-Reay made his last stop of the race on lap 49, Marco stayed out and set a quick lap, but a slow stop meant that his teammate would regain the lead while Marco's team reconnected the in-car radio (which, by rule, must be reconnected as soon as the team realizes it's come undone).  Andretti would still get out in front of Dixon, but his last chance for victory slipped away as a result.  For Hunter-Reay, the final gap meant that he would finish the race without using a single one of his "Push-to-Pass" boosts.

With six minutes remaining, Aleshin lost control and hit the turn 13 tyre barrier, guaranteeing that the race would end under caution.  Time expired as the field completed 69 of the scheduled 90 laps, with Andretti Autosport claiming its first 1-2 finish since the Iowa Corn Indy 250 last June.  It was Hunter-Reay's 12th IndyCar victory and his first of 2014.

The field now travels to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in three days where they will be testing ahead of the upcoming Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the oval's road course.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 27 September 2016

  2. Video: Ricciardo previews Malaysian GP 13:02

    Video: Ricciardo previews Malaysian GP

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo looks ahead to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

    F1
  3. Soft tyre favoured for Japanese Grand Prix 11:13

    Soft tyre favoured for Japanese Grand Prix

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed the driver-by-driver selections for the Japanese Grand Prix, with the yellow-marked…

    F1
  4. BMW announces Andretti Formula E tie-in 10:49

    BMW announces Andretti Formula E tie-in

    German car manufacturer BMW has announced a tie-in with Andretti ahead of the 2016/17 Formula E season, in a move that could…

    FE
  5. Video: Formula E reflects on second season 10:32

    Video: Formula E reflects on second season

    Formula E looks back at its second season, ahead of the 2016/17 campaign beginning in Hong Kong.

    FE
  6. Mallya wary of 'twists and turns' over P4 09:38

    Mallya wary of 'twists and turns' over P4

    Vijay Mallya has hailed a strong atmosphere at Force India, as the team looks to strengthen its grip on fourth in the standings…

    F1
  7. Pirelli: New Sepang surface 'big unknown' 08:12

    Pirelli: New Sepang surface 'big unknown'

    Pirelli's Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery, is viewing the new track surface at the Sepang International Circuit as a "big…

    F1
  8. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #3 05:26

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #3

    Next up in Williams' 'Life in the pit lane' series is Ed Smith, in charge of putting a wheel on the car.

    F1
  9. Monday 26 September 2016

  10. Hamilton out to end Rosberg's winning run 15:12

    Hamilton out to end Rosberg's winning run

    Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he needs to get back to winning ways if he is to clinch the 2016 title, after Mercedes…

    F1
  11. Honda still unsure over Malaysia upgrade 13:18

    Honda still unsure over Malaysia upgrade

    Honda is still unsure about introducing a power unit upgrade at the Malaysian Grand Prix, and will make a final call later in…

    F1
  12. Video: Hülkenberg's Malaysian GP preview 12:16

    Video: Hülkenberg's Malaysian GP preview

    Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg looks ahead to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

    F1
  13. Rosberg: Upcoming races 'anyone's game' 11:16

    Rosberg: Upcoming races 'anyone's game'

    Nico Rosberg is refusing to get carried away by his recent run of victories, which have moved him back into the title lead…

    F1
  14. Haas to re-test new front wing in Malaysia 10:41

    Haas to re-test new front wing in Malaysia

    Haas will re-test its upgraded front wing at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, after a troubled weekend in Singapore last…

    F1
  15. Lorenzo: Crash helped me finish second 10:08

    Lorenzo: Crash helped me finish second

    Jorge Lorenzo reckons his warm-up crash was a crucial factor in him beating Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi to second position…

    MotoGP
  16. In photos: Button's 17 seasons in F1 07:44

    In photos: Button's 17 seasons in F1

    Jenson Button will start his 300th Grand Prix in Malaysia this weekend before stepping down from racing duties at the end of the…

    F1
  17. Interview: Button on reaching 300 races 07:36

    Interview: Button on reaching 300 races

    Jenson Button will contest his 300th Formula 1 race at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, cementing his position behind Rubens…

    F1
  18. Video of the Day: Jenson Button's 300 club 05:42

    Video of the Day: Jenson Button's 300 club

    Hear from Jenson Button, who will mark his 300th appearance in Formula 1 at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

    F1
  19. Sunday 25 September 2016

  20. 16:28

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  21. Márquez pleased to halt Rossi's momentum 16:03

    Márquez pleased to halt Rossi's momentum

    Marc Márquez admitted he was pleased to halt Valentino Rossi's momentum in the championship as he chalked up his fourth MotoGP…

    MotoGP
  22. Smith to make MotoGP return at Motegi 15:04

    Smith to make MotoGP return at Motegi

    Tech 3 has confirmed that Bradley Smith will return to MotoGP action at Motegi, after sitting out three rounds of the…

    MotoGP
  23. Márquez extends lead with Aragón victory 13:54

    Márquez extends lead with Aragón victory

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez extended his MotoGP championship lead with his fourth victory of the season, ahead of Yamaha pair…

    MotoGP
  24. Heineken eyes Formula 1 race in Vietnam 10:28

    Heineken eyes Formula 1 race in Vietnam

    Formula 1 Global Partner Heineken says it would like to see the sport branch out further into the Asia Pacific territory, and…

    F1
  25. Injured Lowes to miss Aragón Grand Prix 08:08

    Injured Lowes to miss Aragón Grand Prix

    Tech 3 rider Alex Lowes will not participate in the Aragón Grand Prix after being deemed unfit by medical staff on Sunday…

    MotoGP
  26. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #2 05:42

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #2

    Williams continues its 'Life in the pit lane' series with #2 mechanic and front jack man Michael Payne.

    F1
  27. Saturday 24 September 2016

  28. 16:52

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Aragon

    MotoGP
  29. Vandoorne: 2017 was 'last chance' for seat 15:52

    Vandoorne: 2017 was 'last chance' for seat

    McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne says he knew he had to secure a full-time Formula 1 seat in 2017 if he was to ever graduate to the…

    F1
  30. Márquez dominates for pole at Aragón 13:57

    Márquez dominates for pole at Aragón

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez trounced his rivals as he flew to pole position at the Aragón Grand Prix, his sixth of the…

    MotoGP
  31. Lowes to skip qualifying after FP3 crash 11:42

    Lowes to skip qualifying after FP3 crash

    Tech 3 rider Alex Lowes will not take part in qualifying for the Aragón Grand Prix after crashing during the third practice…

    MotoGP
  32. Márquez heads crash-filled third session 09:56

    Márquez heads crash-filled third session

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez surged to the quickest time during a crash-filled third practice session at MotorLand…

    MotoGP
  33. Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Last rounds 09:05

    Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Last rounds

    Williams development driver and GP2 Series racer Alex Lynn will write a regular column for GPUpdate.net this year, charting his…

    GP2
  34. Video of the Day: Meet Felix Rosenqvist 05:32

    Video of the Day: Meet Felix Rosenqvist

    Find out more about reigning F3 Champion Felix Rosenqvist, who will race for Mahindra in Formula E this season.

    FE
  35. Friday 23 September 2016

  36. Corner named after Fernández in Mexico 15:26

    Corner named after Fernández in Mexico

    Mexican racing star Adrián Fernández has been appointed as an ambassador for his home country's Grand Prix and had Turn 12…

    F1
  37. Leclerc will not run in Malaysian GP practice 14:17

    Leclerc will not run in Malaysian GP practice

    Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc will not carry out his planned Formula 1 practice run with Haas at the upcoming Malaysian…

    F1
  38. 14:05

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday in Aragon

    MotoGP
  39. Pedrosa moves ahead in second practice 14:03

    Pedrosa moves ahead in second practice

    Dani Pedrosa moved to the top of the times during second practice for the Aragón Grand Prix, ahead of Honda team-mate Marc…

    MotoGP
  40. Iannone replaced by Pirro after first practice 12:28

    Iannone replaced by Pirro after first practice

    Andrea Iannone will take no further part in the Aragón Grand Prix weekend, after riding through the pain of his back injury in…

    MotoGP
  41. Ricciardo backs Rosberg for maiden title 10:22

    Ricciardo backs Rosberg for maiden title

    Daniel Ricciardo says that he is now backing Nico Rosberg for the 2016 crown after the German reclaimed the championship lead…

    F1
  42. Márquez tops opening practice in Aragón 10:00

    Márquez tops opening practice in Aragón

    MotoGP title leader Marc Márquez topped the timesheets during Friday morning's first free practice session for the Aragón…

    MotoGP
  43. GPUpdate lets readers quiz Christian Horner 09:02

    GPUpdate lets readers quiz Christian Horner

    In 2016, GPUpdate.net is giving readers the opportunity to pose questions to senior personnel from a selection of outfits, with…

    F1
  44. Aragón extends MotoGP deal to 2021 07:36

    Aragón extends MotoGP deal to 2021

    Aragón will keep its place on the MotoGP calendar until at least the 2021 season, after MotorLand track officials penned a new…

    MotoGP
  45. Mercedes completes 2017 wet-tyre test 06:12

    Mercedes completes 2017 wet-tyre test

    Mercedes completed two days of running on 2017-size wet tyres at Paul Ricard this week, as part of Pirelli's extensive…

    F1
more news