Hunter-Reay's tyre gamble pays off on last lap

Hunter-Reay's tyre gamble pays off on last lap

13 July 2014 – A late call to pit for new tyres made all the difference for Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night. Following a caution, a 10-lap shootout was just enough time for the two to utilise their new rubber and blow by the field to take first and second, respectively, with two laps remaining.

The victory is Hunter-Reay's second in three years on the 0.875-mile oval, and it is a much-needed third win of his 2014 campaign.

His penultimate lap slingshot around long-time race leader Tony Kanaan crushed any chance that Ganassi or any other team might have had of stopping Andretti Autosport's dominance at the Newton race track. Instead Michael Andretti's squad has now won the last five editions of the July race.

Hunter-Reay seemed out of contention before Juan Pablo Montoya came into contact with Ed Carpenter at the end of the backstretch, but a strategy call by Michael Andretti saw Hunter-Reay come in for new tyres with a hunch that it just might pay off. If the leaders stayed out (which they did), by the end of the race their tyres would have been 67 laps old compared to Hunter-Reay's 15.

He would re-enter the race just on the cusp of the top 10, but with everyone else on worn rubber, the 2012 series champion immediately sliced through the field, likening his improbable charge to "a video game." His race-winning lap was actually the first lap that he'd led this season since his win at the Indy 500.

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's decision mirrored Andretti's by bringing in Newgarden after the caution came out on Lap 284. When the field went green with eight to go, the young American was in P11, but he eventually set the race's fastest lap as he flew by Kanaan on the last lap to take second place. That P2 matches his best career finish in the IndyCar Series, despite starting second to last in P21.

For Kanaan, though, it was an all too familiar story in Iowa of dominating the race but failing to bring home the win. The Brazilian led 247 of the 300 laps (50 laps longer than the 2013 edition of this race), consistently winning the battles on track and in the pits. Ironically, then, it was the decision not to pit that would doom his chances of winning his second race in Newton. His tyres quickly fell off in the final few laps, leaving him helpless to halt the charges of Hunter-Reay and Newgarden.

Montoya's late race caution was one of several yellows during the event. The first came after 39 laps when increasing rainfall caused IndyCar officials to red flag proceedings for 26 minutes. It was the first time IndyCar had stopped a race due to rain since Sao Paulo in 2011.

When the event resumed, the field had not yet come down the frontstretch when a spinning Mikhail Aleshin collected Takuma Sato on the exit of Turn 4. Further cautions would include one for debris from Montoya's car, another for Marco Andretti hitting the Turn 2 wall and stopping on the backstretch, and another for Sebastian Saavedra.

The Colombian had pitted for fresh rubber and began to carve his way through the field in the latter third of the event. Eventually he found himself third, ready to hunt down the leaders when he got too high in traffic and understeered into the wall. He would get the car back to the pits, but his race was essentially over.

Pole-sitter Scott Dixon stayed in the mix throughout the night, taking several turns leading the race after passing Kanaan through traffic, but his hopes would fade late in the race along with his tyres, and he would finish P4.

It was the same story for Penske's Helio Castroneves and Will Power. The two championship co-leaders coming into this event spent good chunks of the race in the top five, but Power would fall back to P14 and Helio to P8.  As a result, the Brazilian takes the championship lead ahead of Power and a resurgent Hunter-Reay.

The next round of the IndyCar season takes place in Toronto on the weekend of July 19-20

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 16 October 2017

  2. Espargaró left perplexed by race struggles 16:28

    Espargaró left perplexed by race struggles

    Aleix Espargaró conceded he had "big problems" during the Japanese Grand Prix and was left perplexed by his lack of pace…

    MotoGP
  3. Mercedes: Recent swings aiding progress 15:17

    Mercedes: Recent swings aiding progress

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the team has gained "a lot more understanding" about its performance swings at recent Grands…

    F1
  4. GPUpdate readers expect Mexico decider 14:43

    GPUpdate readers expect Mexico decider

    GPUpdate.net readers expect the 2017 Formula 1 title to be settled at next weekend's Mexican Grand Prix, with two rounds to…

    F1
  5. Video: Force India for Breast Cancer Care 14:02

    Video: Force India for Breast Cancer Care

    This October, as part of its association with Breast Cancer Care, Force India is printing the names of two inspiring women, Emma…

    F1
  6. Pirelli's Ultra Softs to be pink for Austin 13:38

    Pirelli's Ultra Softs to be pink for Austin

    Pirelli's Ultra Soft tyre will be coloured with pink sidewalls for this weekend's United States Grand Prix, as part of Formula…

    F1
  7. MP Motorsport to replace DAMS in GP3 13:10

    MP Motorsport to replace DAMS in GP3

    MP Motorsport will join the GP3 Series in 2018, championship officials have announced, taking the entry currently held by…

    GP3
  8. Suzuki pair hail 'best weekend' of 2017 12:48

    Suzuki pair hail 'best weekend' of 2017

    Suzuki riders Andrea Iannone and Álex Rins hailed the progress made by the team after the pair secured top five finishes on the…

    MotoGP
  9. Video: Verstappen previews US Grand Prix 11:08

    Video: Verstappen previews US Grand Prix

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen looks ahead to this weekend's United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Mobil 1…

    F1
  10. Hartley to race with number 39 on F1 debut 10:32

    Hartley to race with number 39 on F1 debut

    Brendon Hartley will race with #39 on his Formula 1 debut at the United States Grand Prix, taking up one of Toro Rosso's…

    F1
  11. Haas to bring final 2017 upgrade to COTA 10:15

    Haas to bring final 2017 upgrade to COTA

    Haas will apply its final upgrade package of the season for its home race, the United States Grand Prix, team boss Guenther…

    F1
  12. Parkes to replace Folger at Australian GP 09:02

    Parkes to replace Folger at Australian GP

    Broc Parkes will fill in for the recovering Jonas Folger on home soil at this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, Tech 3 Yamaha has…

    MotoGP
  13. Lorenzo: Rear grip woes ruined prospects 08:12

    Lorenzo: Rear grip woes ruined prospects

    Jorge Lorenzo says it was "impossible" for him to set a quicker pace in the Japanese Grand Prix, after struggling for rear grip…

    MotoGP
  14. Video: Carpentier tests Formula E car 05:24

    Video: Carpentier tests Formula E car

    Watch as former Champ Car and NASCAR racer Patrick Carpentier samples the Formula E test car during a recent run at Valencia's…

    FE
  15. Sunday 15 October 2017

  16. In photos: New Zealand's Formula 1 racers 16:34

    In photos: New Zealand's Formula 1 racers

    Brendon Hartley will become the ninth New Zealander to compete in Formula 1 when he links up with Toro Rosso at the Circuit of…

    F1
  17. Video: WEC Fuji 6 Hours race highlights 13:10

    Video: WEC Fuji 6 Hours race highlights

    Watch race highlights from the rain-affected, truncated round of the World Endurance Championship at the Fuji Speedway.

    WEC
  18. Sainz Jr. aims to 'hit the ground running' 12:48

    Sainz Jr. aims to 'hit the ground running'

    Carlos Sainz Jr. says he aims to "hit the ground running" with Renault as he prepares to make his first start for the…

    F1
  19. 11:21

    Final 2017 European Formula 3 standings

    F3
  20. 11:20

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Motegi

    MotoGP
  21. Viñales: Ninth was 'maximum' for Yamaha 11:18

    Viñales: Ninth was 'maximum' for Yamaha

    Maverick Viñales says ninth position was the "maximum" possible for Movistar Yamaha at the Japanese Grand Prix, as his title…

    MotoGP
  22. 10:36

    Latest F3 photos: Sunday at Hockenheim

    F3
  23. Günther caps Formula 3 season with victory 10:35

    Günther caps Formula 3 season with victory

    Prema's Maximilian Günther concluded the 2017 European Formula 3 campaign with victory at Hockenheim, as Joel Eriksson sealed…

    F3
  24. Miller to attempt Phillip Island comeback 09:34

    Miller to attempt Phillip Island comeback

    Marc VDS has confirmed that Jack Miller will return to action at his home event in Australia next weekend. Miller fractured…

    MotoGP
  25. Dovizioso, Márquez laud Motegi win battle 09:26

    Dovizioso, Márquez laud Motegi win battle

    Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Márquez revelled in their race-long scrap at the Japanese Grand Prix, after the Ducati rider…

    MotoGP
  26. 07:58

    MotoGP standings after the Japanese GP

    MotoGP
  27. 06:54

    In full: Japanese Grand Prix race result

    MotoGP
  28. Dovizioso beats Márquez in Motegi thriller 06:52

    Dovizioso beats Márquez in Motegi thriller

    Andrea Dovizioso beat title rival Marc Márquez to victory in wet conditions at the Japanese Grand Prix after an enthralling…

    MotoGP
  29. 05:30

    Starting grid for the Japanese Grand Prix

    MotoGP
  30. Video: Virtual lap of COTA with Grosjean 04:08

    Video: Virtual lap of COTA with Grosjean

    Join Haas driver Romain Grosjean for a virtual lap of the Circuit of the Americas, home to the United States Grand Prix, Formula…

    F1
  31. Saturday 14 October 2017

  32. 17:12

    Latest F3 photos: Saturday at Hockenheim

    F3
  33. Dominant Ilott leads Prema podium lockout 17:10

    Dominant Ilott leads Prema podium lockout

    Callum Ilott dominated proceedings to lead a Prema 1-2-3 in the second race of the European Formula 3 finale at Hockenheim, his…

    F3
  34. Norris revels in 'special' F3 title triumph 15:12

    Norris revels in 'special' F3 title triumph

    New European Formula 3 Champion Lando Norris revelled in a "special" title triumph, after securing the crown in the opening race…

    F3
  35. Márquez: Slick gamble could aid race chances 14:46

    Márquez: Slick gamble could aid race chances

    Marc Márquez believes his abortive move to slick tyres in damp conditions during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix could…

    MotoGP
  36. Video: Toro Rosso's Hartley takes WEC pole 13:26

    Video: Toro Rosso's Hartley takes WEC pole

    Watch highlights from qualifying for the 6 Hours of Fuji, the latest round of the World Endurance Championship campaign.

    WEC
  37. Rossi 'lucky' to escape injury in crash 13:06

    Rossi 'lucky' to escape injury in crash

    Yamaha's Valentino Rossi says he was "lucky" to avoid injury after crashing during the fourth practice session for the Japanese…

    MotoGP
  38. Background: First double swap since 1994 12:02

    Background: First double swap since 1994

    Next weekend's United States Grand Prix will feature an unusual occurrence, with a Formula 1 team, in this case Toro Rosso…

    F1
  39. Video: Lando Norris - 2017 F3 champion 11:49

    Video: Lando Norris - 2017 F3 champion

    Carlin celebrates the achievements of McLaren youngster Lando Norris after the Briton becomes the first of its drivers to claim…

    F3
  40. Video: Circuit Safari at WEC Fuji round 11:28

    Video: Circuit Safari at WEC Fuji round

    Take a look at the 'Circuit Safari' during the World Endurance Championship round at Fuji Speedway, as spectators enjoy a bus…

    WEC
  41. McLaren-backed Norris clinches F3 title 10:29

    McLaren-backed Norris clinches F3 title

    McLaren-backed Lando Norris has been crowned FIA European Formula 3 Champion after finishing in second position in the opening…

    F3
  42. Mercedes drivers given drop threat in 2016 10:06

    Mercedes drivers given drop threat in 2016

    Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman Niki Lauda says the outfit threatened to bench Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg in the wake of…

    F1
  43. Nozane a doubt for race amid hand injury 09:06

    Nozane a doubt for race amid hand injury

    Tech 3 stand-in Kohta Nozane's MotoGP race debut is in doubt after he sustained a hand injury in a fall during practice for the…

    MotoGP
more news