Hunter-Reay claims third straight win, takes the points lead.
This is the eighth career Indy car victory for Hunter-Reay, a 31-year-old resident of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. This is the first time he has won three IndyCar races in a single season, and this is his second career win on a street course.
This is his fifth win with Andretti Autosport, and he extends his distinction of being the winningest active American driver in the IndyCar Series.
His previous IZOD IndyCar Series victories were: Iowa (2012/Andretti Autosport), Milwaukee (2012/Andretti Autosport), New Hampshire (2011/Andretti Autosport), Long Beach (2010/Andretti Autosport) and Watkins Glen (2008/Rahal Letterman Racing). He also has victories in the CART/Champ Car Series at Milwaukee and Surfer's Paradise.
Hunter-Reay has been the top-finishing American driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series points the last two seasons. Hunter-Reay is the only driver to score victories in IZOD IndyCar, CART Champ Car, Grand-Am and the American Le Mans series.
This is the 42nd IZOD IndyCar Series victory for Andretti Autosport. Since 2003, Andretti Autosport has scored three series titles ('04/Kanaan, '05/Wheldon and '07/Franchitti) and two Indianapolis 500 wins ('05/Wheldon and '07/Franchitti).
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Dr Pepper Chevrolet, No. 28
Ryan Hunter-Reay led 36 laps on the way to his third consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series race today at Toronto. The victory puts him at the top of the IndyCar Series point standings, leading Will Power by 34 points with five races remaining. He matches Dan Wheldon as the only Andretti Autosport drivers to win three consecutive races. Wheldon accomplished the feat in 2005 on his way to the IndyCar championship.
Here is a partial transcript of Hunter-Reay's post-race news conference.
"We just had to stick with it. No matter if you're 14th, you just have to keep giving it 110 percent and sometimes it shakes out for you. All day, the DHL/Sun Drop team had the right strategy and the right race car. We had good pit stops and I got things done on the track. I think these past three races have been my best ones ever. This is really a testament to the Andretti Autosport team. Everyone did an awesome job and I have found a great home here. It is about continuity and chemistry and we are firing on all cylinders right now. Like I said last weekend, when we get it right, we're tough to beat. This is all so much fun to be a part of and I want it to continue. Thank you to all of the fans for your support. I love IndyCar and my dream is to be winning here and to be a championship contender. It means a lot to win in Toronto, especially since my mom is from Hamilton, not too far from here."
It doesn't get old, does it?
"No it doesn't. It's so much more fun doing it this way. I think we'd rather just keep doing this. This is awesome. There's a championship run going on right now. I'm a part of it as much as everybody on this team is and they did excellent pit stops. They gave me the car to win today. We had it when it mattered again - at the end. We don't need to win the beginning of the race. We need to win the end and it's been such a pleasure. I can't even believe - three races. This is going to take a second to settle in. Now. I'm thinking we've got to do it again next weekend."
First time in a while that we don't have the name of Will Power or Dario Franchitti at the top of the standings. How does that sound?
"It sounds awesome, man. I love it."
Talk about the Firestone tires and how they felt today.
"The Firestone tires hung in there great. I really took care of them. I'm learning a lot about them. These past three races, I think, have been my best ever races on the tires and conserving them. I don't think it's a coincidence that we're doing it. It's just ... I can't even believe this!"
Marco Andretti, Team Dr Pepper Chevrolet, No. 26
Andretti finished 16th this afternoon in the Dr Pepper car. He drove to seventh place by lap 24, but an ill-timed yellow flag foiled the team's pit strategy. Late-race contact with Simon Pagenaud and Ed Carpenter on lap 82, determined Andretti's finish position.
"We were able to make up some ground early, but when the yellow came out (on lap 24) and they closed the pits, we were stuck near the back. The series is so competitive and so close that you have to fight like crazy to gain every position, and then we got caught up in the mess at the end. They guys kept telling me we were running good lap times, but we just couldn't pass our way through the field. Not the day we wanted, ya know?"
James Hinchcliffe, Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, No. 27
Hinchcliffe finished 22nd in his hometown race today. After working his way up to the fourth position, the No. 27 machine began experiencing mechanical issues and lost engine power. The day ended in pit lane on Lap 28 for the Go Daddy team.
"We had a mechanical issue and started losing power in the engine and it's too bad. We started off a bit on the back foot, we lost our pit lane speed limiter so I had to do that first stop just watching the speed - the guys had a great stop and I think our tire strategy was good. We got some good passes done early and then that yellow came out, and finally it was a stroke of luck our way and we got up to fourth there. Another great strategy call by these Go Daddy guys. It's a heartache to go out early here. The whole weekend has been incredible - all the support from everybody here in Toronto. Like I've said, it's the best city in the world, I love coming here to race and thank you to everybody for the support. This has been awesome. And if I couldn't win it I'm happy to see one of my teammates in victory lane. Congrats to Ryan (Hunter-Reay) on his third in a row!"