Hunter-Reay Wins the Iowa Corn 300

04CJ1968“It felt like we had something (tonight). It certainly was going to be tough to beat them today, but this No. 28 DHL Honda was on rails at the end and I was driving the snot out of it. It was loose and I just kept my foot to the floor. It was barely having to lift at the end. It was a lot of work in the cockpit. This one we really had to work for, this was a hard one. After such a tough season, it was great to be back in Victory Lane. In the beginning of the race the car was really loose and I had a hard time with it. This is just amazing. … We’re having a tough year but we got into Victory Lane in one of the most competitive seasons. It was super tough to get this thing today.”

Seemingly with the weight of the world on Andretti Autosport’s shoulders to maintain its winning streak at Iowa Speedway, the Andretti Four settled in for a 300-lap race around the 0.894-mile oval once the green flag flew around 8 p.m. this evening. The four cars of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Muñoz, Marco Andretti and Justin Wilson were spotted running positions seven through 10 together early on, and later, a series of off-sequence pit stops aided the reigning race winner and the Colombian to make their way to the top five for the latter half of the race.

On Lap 264, RHR acquired the race lead and never looked back; he collected the race win, a back-to-back victory at Iowa Speedway and Andretti Autosport’s sixth-consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series win at the Newton, IA track, with just 37 laps led. Hunter-Reay becomes the only active Verizon IndyCar Series driver to collect three wins at Iowa Speedway. Muñoz was seen as high as P3 as late as Lap 283, hoping to join his teammate on the podium, was unable to hold off in the final stage but collected a top-five finish in fifth place. Andretti was also shown as high as the third position during pit rotations and attempted a strategy move with a last effort pit stop for tires and came to the twin checkers in the seventh position. Wilson started from the 18th position and showed promising speed but was set back when he brushed the wall one-third through the race; the Englishman finished in P17.

“It was huge to get Ryan (Hunter-Reay) back up there and keep our streak alive at Iowa. We love Iowa, man, it’s unbelievable. I don’t understand why we’re so good here. It’s so great, I couldn’t be happier, so happy for Ryan.” (Why are your cars so good at Iowa?): “I don’t know. If we knew, we’d try to do that everywhere. We’ve just had good luck here. We have good setups here and our drivers love driving here. Ryan does a great job here.”

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