Ryan Hunter-Reay has won three consecutive IZOD Indy Car Series races but his try for a fourth got off on the wrong foot today in Edmonton as the Floridian ran afoul of the sanctioning body during the opening practice.
According to multiple reports, Hunter-Reay was running behind Dale Coyne Racing’s sophomore driver James Jakes – who was slowing to go in the pits. Hunter-Reay, who had been having an abysmal session to that point anyway, reportedly left the racing line and tried to force Jakes to alter his course. He also gave Jakes the world-famous one-finger salute, which led to Indy Car Race Control parking Hunter-Reay for the remainder of the session.
This all happened with just a couple of minutes left in the practice and at that time Hunter-Reay had only run 10 laps and was 22nd on the speed sheets. Hunter-Reay’s time of 1:18.1163 left him more than 1.5 seconds behind the best effort of session leader Simon Pagenaud prior to his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Hunter-Reay will have another opportunity to find speed today as a second practice session will take place on the 2.224-mile Edmonton City Centre course at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.