Coming into the race as the championship points leader, Ryan Hunter-Reay finished 24th today and dropped to second in the standings, five points behind Will Power with three races remaining. Hunter-Reay had been running sixth in the DHL / Sun Drop No. 28 car, preserving his fuel and aggression for the finish, until engine problems began to develop on lap 53. Hunter-Reay soldiered on, but the powerplant continued to lose power and he was forced to the pits for good after completing 79 laps.
“We were positioned pretty well just past halfway,” said Hunter-Reay. “We were catching the leaders while still taking it easy and saving fuel. I think we were a third-place car at the worst. Then, the engine just started losing power and it just gradually got worse the longer we tried to run. It finally just gave up there at the end. It died a slow death.
“It’s disappointing to start the day with a 23-point lead and leave in second place, but we’ll get over this quick. There’s a lot of racing still to go, and the only thing we can do is dig deep and move on. I think it’s going to be a good championship fight, but you can’t have any more days like this. I’m confident we’re going to be right in it until the finish – it’s certainly do-able for us to win it all.”