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. Sunday 20 August 2017

  2. Hunter-Reay gets green light for Pocono 15:17

    Hunter-Reay gets green light for Pocono

    Ryan Hunter-Reay has been cleared to race at Pocono later on Sunday in the wake of his hefty accident during…

    Indy
  3. Verstappen doubts Red Bull win threat 14:17

    Verstappen doubts Red Bull win threat

    Max Verstappen feels it will still be "tough" for Red Bull to compete with Mercedes and Ferrari when Formula 1 returns from its…

    F1
  4. Wehrlein hopes for non-DTM alternative 12:22

    Wehrlein hopes for non-DTM alternative

    Pascal Wehrlein says the "second way" of reaching Formula 1 will no longer be possible for any Mercedes-backed youngsters…

    F1
  5. Video: Visor Cam at Pocono Raceway 11:34

    Video: Visor Cam at Pocono Raceway

    Ride along with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Graham Rahal during his qualifying run at Pocono.

    Indy
  6. Hunter-Reay in doubt for race after crash 10:02

    Hunter-Reay in doubt for race after crash

    Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay will need to be cleared to drive by IndyCar's medical team on Sunday, following a hefty…

    Indy
  7. In photos: Formula 1's iconic Spa moments 09:42

    In photos: Formula 1's iconic Spa moments

    Formula 1 returns from its summer break next weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix, which takes place at the legendary…

    F1
  8. Motegi gets new five-year MotoGP deal 08:47

    Motegi gets new five-year MotoGP deal

    Motegi will remain as the host of the Japanese Grand Prix until at least 2023 after signing a new five-year deal with MotoGP…

    MotoGP
  9. Nakagami graduates to MotoGP with LCR 08:35

    Nakagami graduates to MotoGP with LCR

    LCR Honda will become a two-bike team in 2018 after confirming that Takaaki Nakagami will graduate to MotoGP, partnering Cal…

    MotoGP
  10. Gasly takes maiden SF victory at Motegi 08:22

    Gasly takes maiden SF victory at Motegi

    Red Bull-backed Pierre Gasly captured his maiden Super Formula win at Motegi on Sunday. Gasly qualified in fourth position…

    SF
  11. Video: Williams Heritage Stories - FW14B 05:42

    Video: Williams Heritage Stories - FW14B

    Williams tells the story of the 1992 title-winning Williams-Renault FW14B, with input from champion Nigel Mansell, Riccardo…

    F1
  12. Saturday 19 August 2017

  13. 20:45

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Pocono

    Indy
  14. 20:44

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  15. Video: Castroneves crashes during qualifying 20:42

    Video: Castroneves crashes during qualifying

    Penske's Hélio Castroneves escapes unharmed following a hard hit during IndyCar qualifying at Pocono Raceway.

    Indy
  16. Sato beats Pagenaud to pole at Pocono 20:36

    Sato beats Pagenaud to pole at Pocono

    Andretti Autosport's Takuma Sato ran last in an eventful Saturday qualifying order for the ABC Supply 500, edging out Penske…

    Indy
  17. Hamilton: Mercedes in 'good place' with tyres 16:33

    Hamilton: Mercedes in 'good place' with tyres

    Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes is in a "good place" with its understanding of Pirelli's tyres, after problems during the early…

    F1
  18. Video: Top overtakes from FE's third season 12:42

    Video: Top overtakes from FE's third season

    Take a look at the 20 best overtakes from the 2016/17 Formula E championship, as chosen by series officials.

    FE
  19. Steiner: Minardi-style team could aid youth 10:08

    Steiner: Minardi-style team could aid youth

    Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner believes Formula 1 would benefit from the existence of a Minardi-style outfit, in order to…

    F1
  20. Video: Day in the life of an F1 show car team 05:36

    Video: Day in the life of an F1 show car team

    Mercedes highlights what it takes to put on a spectacular F1 show at the world's best motorsport events.

    F1
  21. Friday 18 August 2017

  22. Video: IndyCar's 2018 speedway aero kit 17:12

    Video: IndyCar's 2018 speedway aero kit

    IndyCar technical guru Jon Beekhuis runs through the features on the series' 2018 speedway kit.

    Indy
  23. Social media: Who's winning off the track? 16:02

    Social media: Who's winning off the track?

    Social media is an increasingly important tool for drivers and teams to share key moments and communicate with their fans, but…

    F1
  24. Overview: Formula 1 silly season rumbles on 13:42

    Overview: Formula 1 silly season rumbles on

    While the Formula 1 community has recharged its batteries over the summer break, the silly season has rumbled on in the…

    F1
  25. F1 considering options for second US race 12:59

    F1 considering options for second US race

    New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas have all shown interest in hosting a second Grand Prix in the United States…

    F1
  26. Video: What happens during the shutdown? 11:16

    Video: What happens during the shutdown?

    What goes on at an F1 factory during the summer break? Mercedes 'reveals all' in this light-hearted video.

    F1
  27. Alonso: 'Unfinished business' with McLaren 09:54

    Alonso: 'Unfinished business' with McLaren

    Fernando Alonso says he is open to sticking with McLaren for 2018, highlighting "unfinished business together", but needs…

    F1
  28. Mid-season review: Sauber still at the back 08:52

    Mid-season review: Sauber still at the back

    GPUpdate.net concludes its mid-season review series with Sauber, which has remained at the rear of the Formula 1 field as it…

    F1
  29. Video: Keke vs Nico - Williams memories 05:32

    Video: Keke vs Nico - Williams memories

    F1 champion father and son Keke and Nico Rosberg share their favourite memories of Williams.

    F1
  30. Thursday 17 August 2017

  31. Video: How to master IndyCar oval tracks 17:02

    Video: How to master IndyCar oval tracks

    A selection of IndyCar drivers talk about the challenges of racing on ovals, and how to master them.

    Indy
  32. Williams 'very disappointed' with first half 16:27

    Williams 'very disappointed' with first half

    Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says the team was left feeling "very disappointed" with its results over the opening half of…

    F1
  33. Overview: Alternative stats from season so far 14:58

    Overview: Alternative stats from season so far

    Formula 1 championship standings, race wins and pole positions all get covered, but what are the lesser-known statistics of the…

    F1
  34. Marko backs Vettel to claim 2017 crown 12:34

    Marko backs Vettel to claim 2017 crown

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has tipped Sebastian Vettel to come back "even stronger" following the summer break and clinch…

    F1
  35. Video: Sébastien Loeb returns to action 11:27

    Video: Sébastien Loeb returns to action

    Watch as nine-time WRC champion Sébastien Loeb returns to action at the wheel of the Citroën C3.

    WRC
  36. Makino to make F3 return at Zandvoort 10:40

    Makino to make F3 return at Zandvoort

    Honda-affiliated Tadasuke Makino will return to the European Formula 3 grid at this weekend's Zandvoort round, after recovering…

    F3
  37. Ferrari hopeful of avoiding turbo penalties 10:08

    Ferrari hopeful of avoiding turbo penalties

    Ferrari is hopeful of avoiding power unit-related penalties over the second half of the season, despite both its drivers being…

    F1
  38. Mid-season review: McLaren-Honda's woes 08:42

    Mid-season review: McLaren-Honda's woes

    GPUpdate.net continues its mid-season review series with McLaren-Honda, which has lacked reliability and performance…

    F1
  39. Video: IndyCar 'Photo Finish' with Dixon 05:43

    Video: IndyCar 'Photo Finish' with Dixon

    Scott Dixon is the first guest on IndyCar's 'Photo Finish' series as he looks back on his career.

    Indy
  40. Wednesday 16 August 2017

  41. Saavedra gets SPM seat for next two rounds 17:17

    Saavedra gets SPM seat for next two rounds

    Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) has announced that Sebastián Saavedra will pilot the No. 7 Honda for the next two rounds of…

    Indy
  42. Iannone urges patience for Suzuki gains 16:12

    Iannone urges patience for Suzuki gains

    Andrea Iannone says Suzuki "learned so much" across back-to-back events in the Czech Republic and Austria, but has urged the…

    MotoGP
  43. Video: F1 2017 game 'Born to Be Wild' trailer 14:24

    Video: F1 2017 game 'Born to Be Wild' trailer

    Watch the latest trailer for Codemasters' new video game, F1 2017, to be released on August 25.

    F1
  44. Vandoorne making 'big steps' at every race 12:19

    Vandoorne making 'big steps' at every race

    Stoffel Vandoorne feels that he is making "big steps" forward at every Grand Prix following a difficult start to his first…

    F1
  45. Video: Mansell's Williams FW14B on track 11:02

    Video: Mansell's Williams FW14B on track

    25 years ago today, Nigel Mansell claimed the 1992 world title with the revolutionary Williams FW14B. Karun Chandhok recently…

    F1
more news