Hunter-Reay's Race Ends Early in Japan MOTEGI, JAPAN September 19--Driving the No. 14 ABC Supply car, Ryan Hunter-Reay got off to a good start in the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi, however the finish was anything but. Starting 15th,...
Hunter-Reay's Race Ends Early in Japan
MOTEGI, JAPAN September 19--Driving the No. 14 ABC Supply car, Ryan Hunter-Reay got off to a good start in the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi, however the finish was anything but.
Starting 15th, Hunter-Reay was running between the 13th to 11th position throughout the race. The crew made adjustments to the car on the pit stops. Moreover, he had to pit early in the fuel window because of a leak in his fuel cell, so he was always the first to pit which put him at a disadvantage.
On lap 158 of the 200-lapper, he spun coming through turn four and the car backed hard into the wall and whipped around with the left side, coming to a halt at the exit of turn four. Hunter-Reay was able to get out of the car under his own power. He escaped with some minor abrasions to his right knee.
"We had a decent start as I passed a couple cars on the first few laps," said Hunter-Reay. "We started with way too much push in turns 3 and 4, so on the first stop we added some front wing, which gave us more front grip at turn four but made the car loose on exits. There were a few times I nearly lost the ABC Supply car in turns 2 and 4 but was able to save it.
"We were also handicapped all day to a fuel cell leak that made us pit 4-5 laps earlier than most of the rest of the field," he added. "With all considered, we had an ok day going. On the last set of stops I had already put 2-3 laps on my tires as Kanaan, who we were fighting with for position, was coming out of the pits on cold tires. He entered turn 3 low and I entered high to set up a pass at the exit of turn. As he pushed wide at turn four I kept the car as low as possible and went back to power early to get the run out, but the rear immediately came around. It was a long day in the car, I got loose a few too many times and it finally bit me. It's a shame because I really enjoy racing at this track in front of the Japanese crowds. It's been a pretty tough year, but we're determined to end on a high note in Homestead."
Hunter-Reay was credited with 21st place.
Scott Dixon beat his teammate Dario Franchitti to win his fifth race of the season and take over the points lead. The task was made easier when points leader Ryan Briscoe hit the inside retaining wall exiting the pits midway through the race. The impact damaged his front suspension which had to be replaced. He rejoined the race and eventually placed 18th and eight points behind Dixon. However, a win in the season finale would give Briscoe the title.
The final race of the season is at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 10th. The twilight race will be televised by Versus starting at 4:00 p.m. ET.