Ryan Hunter-Reay Wins Grand Prix of Baltimore; Victory is his Fourth of the Season and Tightens Championship Battle Heading to Fontana; Win is 10th Trip to Victory Lane for Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Engine this Season
BALTIMORE (September 1, 2012) – For the fourth time this season, Ryan Hunter-Reay stood atop the IZOD IndyCar Series Victory podium. Behind the wheel of the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, Hunter-Reay scored the 10th victory for Chevrolet, and cut his points deficit in the battle for the Driver’s Championship to 17 points heading into the season finale in two weeks at Fontana, California.
“Congratulations to Ryan Hunter-Reay and the Andretti Autosport team on their win today on the streets of Baltimore,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “Congratulations as well to Ryan Briscoe on his runner-up finish.It was a difficult race for the teams and drivers to strategize with the changing weather conditions and numerous caution periods, but the tenacity of the Chevrolet IndyCar V6 teams shined through for a great showing at the checkered flag.
"The success this season of our Chevrolet teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series is the result of a tremendous team effort with our technical partners and all of our teams. Everyone at Chevrolet is extremely proud of the program. We have one race to go in the driver's championship with three drivers still mathematically in the fight. It will be an exciting season finale in Fontana."
Hunter-Reay was credited with leading five times during the 75-lap race for a total of 13 laps with a margin of victory of 1.4391 seconds. Hunter-Reay sits second in the driver championship standings, 17 points behind leader Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, who finished sixth today after leading twice for a race-high 22 laps.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet, finished second. Briscoe led once for 11 laps, and now sits sixth in the standings with one race remaining in the 2012 season.
Rubens Barrichello drove the No. 8 BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet to a fifth-place finish, his second consecutive top-five run.
Also in the top-10 finishers for Team Chevy were Oriol Servia, No. 22 Panther/Dreyer and Reinbold Racing Chevrolet in seventh place at the checkered flag. E.J. Viso, No. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, in ninth position. And, Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet, crossed the finish line in 10th place.
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES – POST RACE:
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 28 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT – RACE WINNER:
WINS DON’T GET MUCH BIGGER THAN THIS AS YOU SCORED #4 OF THE SEASON AND RIGHT BACK IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE. CAN YOU EVEN PUT INTO WORDS HOW BIG THIS WIN WAS TODAY?: “It’s massive…it’s massive. I mean those restarts were crazy. Crazy, crazy.”
HOW ABOUT THE ONE FOR THE LEAD? “Well everybody had been going late. The green flag was actually coming out before the leaders were accelerating and I caught wind of that and I just started focusing on the green flag instead of focusing on the guy next to me and Briscoe got jumped on that one. The green flag was flying while he was still sitting there in first gear. I feel sorry for him, well I don’t really feel sorry but you know what I mean.”
17 POINTS IS THE MARGIN (BETWEEN LEADER WILL POWER AND HUNTER-REAY)AND NOW GOING INTO FONTANA, WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE?: “It’s going to take another perfect weekend. We came in here under the gun and having to do it this weekend and we did it.”
ON THE RACE: “I can't describe how nerve racking that is when it rains on a street circuit and you're on slicks and you know the championship is on the line; and if you get through this thing, you're going to have a great race. Unbelievable emotions in the car, just trying to tip-toe through some of those corners. But these cars are very stiffly strung and they are 700-horsepower, and putting that down on a city street when it's wet is one of the tougher things in racing I think. I'm just glad I got through that. That was very nerve-racking. I enjoy racing in the wet but I prefer rain tires when it's wet for sure. It was good but we made it happen. We thought that it was just going to sprinkle and that I would have to live through a little bit of a wet track and hopefully that sprinkle would end, and it did. We never came in for rain tires, I think that was absolutely critical to our win today.”
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, WINNING TEAM OWNER:
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT WIN?: “Awesome, awesome, awesome. I am so proud of Ryan and he drove a heck of a race and I am proud of the whole DHL/SunDrop team. They did a great job with the call and with it raining, they took a gamble and stayed out and it paid off.”
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. PPG AUTOMOTIVE REFINISHES TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 2ND: “Interesting race, long one, felt like it was longer than the Indy 500. Tricky conditions. I mean, a couple of restarts there in the wet on slicks. And you know I was impressed how everybody, at least in the top nine, ten, getting through turn one, turn two, without incident, and I think most of the incidents happened behind us. So it was really tricky out there. And you know, at the end, we opted to pit early and see if we could stretch the fuel, and it worked, really. You know we inherited the lead and ended up having Hunter-Reay right behind us where he didn't have to save fuel and the car was really fast.
We started pulling a little bit of gap and then I just started saving harder on the fuel to maintain a two-second gap there. The car was really strong today, very happy. I knew we had a strong car. I was disappointed after qualifying where we just didn't get everything out of it. Didn't pass through Q1. And so once we got the lead today it was heads down and just focus, car was fast.
“We lost the lead at the end of that restart which I'm yet to review but we were still within the accelerations. I had not accelerated but they waved the green flag. I haven't seen whether they waved it because Hunter-Reay accelerated or if he accelerated because they waved the green flag. I didn't see, because I was honestly just waiting for him to pair up because we came off the chicane and he was hanging back.
“So I was going slow to file up two by two and then the next thing, they just drove by me and I looked up and the flag was waving green. It was unfortunate. We dropped back to fourth. It's kind of funny, Dixon got me and I out-braked him down into turn one and we got third and then I got Simon on the final restart for second and actually had to continue saving fuel on the last lap and it made it difficult to challenge Hunter-Reay.
“All in all, a good day. Second place is strong and we moved up a couple more spots in the championship and got a good battle with this guy next to me for fifth in the points now.”
RUBENS BARRICHELLO, NO. 8 BMC/EMBRASE KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET – FINISHED 5TH: “We had another top-five finish which makes me very proud. I didn't want to get involved in that melee right at the end of the race. I am sorry if people thought I was a little bit aggressive towards the end with Dario and Will. In the case of Dario, I had run out of lock which is why I went in wide, I had no intention to push him wide. Regarding Will, I took avoiding action, everything stopped ahead of me and then I ended up on the inside. I was happy with the race and the car from the moment I arrived here I fell in love with this track and am pleased I was able to bring another top-five finish home.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 6TH:
FROM TV: “"I knew it would be a day like this. It never comes easy. We just have to do our best and fight like a dog till the end. We'll come out swinging. Been the quickest car in town the last five races and just circumstances.”
ON TODAY’S RACE: “With the weather, it is just hard to make the decision on which way to go there. There was a bit of confusion on the radio there. I said ‘I’ll pit’ then I said ‘I’ll wait one lap’, and meantime Tim (Cindric) was saying pit. I think we were talking at the same time he told me to pit, so we missed that. I think that would have helped a lot. It was just unfortunate. Every weekend are the quickest. Every weekend we aren’t just the quickest, but by a bunch, and circumstances seem to prevent us from winning. So that can become frustrating when you are the quickest car in town. When you look at the last three races, even if you look at Toronto leading and got the yellow; Edmonton we were the quickest and had the engine change (10 grid-spot penalty) and got back to third, so that was a good day anyway. Mid-Ohio, pole, quickest again and lost it in the pits. Sonoma lost it under the yellow, and today lost it with the weather. But then again, you look at it, it is all good points. We keep getting points, but not to get those wins. Who’d have thought winning three races at the beginning of the year, and not to win another one, we never would have thought that. But, we’re here with a 17 point lead. It’s going to be interesting (at Fontana). 500-mile race maybe it will be the first last race that I finish, because every year, we get crashed out. I’m determined this time to finish the last race, and finish it as the leader of the championship.”
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 PANTHER/DREYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 7TH:
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET – FINISHED 9TH: “We could always do better, but finishing ninth was not a bad way to end the weekend after the way we started. . It was a very difficult and long race to drive. There were a lot of decision that needed to be made at different parts of the race. Some of them based on the weather and some of them based on how the car was handling. I believe we made the best decision we could under the circumstances. Looking toward the final race of the season in Fontana, we have been fast on all the ovals this year and hopefully we can continue to be fast and have a good result to end the season.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL CHEVROLET – FINISHED 10TH:
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 12TH: “It was kind of a bummer of a day, things just didn't go our way towards the end of the race. We stayed out on slicks when it started to rain and that was definitely the right call. We got ourselves up into the top five legitimately, but we kind of got hosed on a restart; the pole sitter was kind of just sleeping on the restart and I got stuck behind him and couldn’t find a way around which put us into sixth or seventh. We were looking to have a really good day and with five laps before we were going to pit, I clipped off the right side of the front wing and that just hosed our day at that point. I lost a few spots right there because of that, and then having to make the nose change in pit lane cost us an extra fifteen seconds, which at that stage put us behind all the cars we should have been ahead of. I was a little overly aggressive at a couple points during the race and that ended up costing us. But the guys did an awesome just today, and that’s what makes it so disappointing. We picked the perfect strategy today and because I made a couple mistakes things just didn’t pan out.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM DR. PEPPER ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – FINISHED 14TH:
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – FINISHED 15th: "Today was a clinic in what not to do. Pretty ashamed of the whole deal, it's just not what the Go Daddy team is capable of. We will bounce back in Fontana. I'm super happy for Ryan (Hunter-Reay). He drove a blinder and after all the bad luck he has been through this season, he deserves this title. We will go to Fontana and do everything we can to help him win."
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 GEICO/MOUSER ELECTRONICS KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET –FINISHED 20TH: NOTE: Kanaan was involved in a single car incident on lap 52: “It was too bad for the GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS guys the way the race ended. We had a pretty good car. I was just pushing hard on the last lap before a pit stop and I made a mistake. The crew told me it was okay. Now I just have to focus on Fontana and the battle for the A. J. Foyt oval championship.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS NO. 7 TRUECAR-MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 23RD: NOTE: Bourdais suffered a mechanical issue that put him out on lap 32:
ON WHAT PUT HIM OUT: “I thought it was something was sitting on the right rear, or I thought I had a cut in the right rear, but that wasn’t it. It was something in the suspension.”
ON HOW HE IS FEELING: “I had a chance to meet a great doctor here, Les Matthews. He just gave me injections, and I really didn’t feel much pain. It has just been our luck this year. We have fast, but we just can’t put it together.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S PREMIUM ULTRA VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 25TH: NOTE: Carpenter was involved in a single-car incident on lap seven: “I was trying to gain time through the chicane and I just pushed too hard and hit the wall. I really feel badly for our crew guys and the Fuzzy’s Vodka folks. I am pretty frustrated. We had an opportunity to pick up some points and have a good street race. It was a good weekend for us overall and this is a disappointment for our team. The good news is we improved the car throughout the weekend and we felt we had a good chance for a solid finish here. We have been making progress with our new team. We’ll just lick our wounds and get ready for the big oval at Fontana (Calif.). I’m disappointed that we ended our finishing record too. Our crew has done a great job throughout the season with a well-prepared race car to finish every race. We’ll regroup for the season finale (in Fontana). I know we’ll have a strong car for that race.”
Source: Team Chevy Racing