Hunter-Reay charges through the field to earn his second Atlantic victory. Hunter-Reay's resilience, talent and focus were proven once again today, as he became the first driver of the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic series to score a second victory.
Hunter-Reay charges through the field to earn his second Atlantic victory.
Hunter-Reay's resilience, talent and focus were proven once again today, as he became the first driver of the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic series to score a second victory. Hunter-Reay started sixth, but spent less than one lap there as he picked his way through the field, passing teammate Roger Yasukawa at the green flag, and Buddy Rice for fourth on the first lap. Laps one through five were under yellow condition due to contact at the back of the field, but the track went green on lap five and Hunter-Reay immediately picked of Michael Valiente. Another full-course yellow condition occurred on laps seven through nine.
Hunter-Reay took the green flag with his sights on the two-fellow Americans ahead of him; he chased down Figge one lap later, claiming second position on the tenth lap. The series point's leader was next; John Fogarty was for the lead. He passed Fogarty in turn 3 on the 14th lap and led the remaining 57 laps, lapping much of the field twice. He took the checkered flag with over an 8 second margin of victory (both of his victories have been by over an eight second margin, more than any other race winner of the season) and he set the fastest lap of the race, earning his third $1000 WorldCom "Fast Pace" award. Hunter-Reay's victory was the fourth consecutive oval victory for Hylton Motorsports and their eighth career win (first was Milwaukee 2001). Hunter-Reay's teammate Roger Yasukawa locked up second place earning Hylton Motorsports their first ever-front row sweep. Today's victory moved Hunter-Reay from ninth to fifth in the point's championship; he earned a total of 21 points today, 20 for the win and one for leading the most laps. This is the third time he has led the most laps, Hunter-Reay has led more laps than any other driver this season. He jumped from ninth to fifth in the series points standings with his victory today; he sits just 15 points out of the lead with total of 59.
Hunter-Reay on the Race:
"I had a great start and was able to get by people right away, but we kept getting the yellows and that made it difficult because I just really wanted to get into a rhythm. The conditions were tough out there, I had to work really hard to keep my car working well, but I think I did a good job of it. With the temperatures being so hot, we were pretty concerned about the tires.
My team did a fantastic job this weekend, they had a long day yesterday with my accident in the morning, but they still managed to get me out there in the second practice. Roger (Yasukawa) helped us get the car set-up with his data and feedback from yesterday and the team gave me a great car today, so I have to commend them. It was a tough start to the weekend, this victory is incredibly satisfying."
Hunter-Reay on the Victory:
"This is a great victory for us here this weekend. We announced our sponsorship with Autobytel yesterday and it is great to give them a victory their first weekend with the team. Also to give Hylton Motorsports their first sweep (first and second place finish) is something I am really proud of. We made a big jump from ninth to fifth in the championship today and we are heading into some of my favorite racetracks, particularly Toronto, so I hope to make another jump in the championship at our first Canadian race next weekend."
<pre> Ryan Hunter-Reay, #1 Autobytel Inc./Medlock Ames Winery/Toyota/Swift
EVENT RESULTS TIME SPEED Mph Saturday Practice 1: 13th 28.058 103.966 Saturday Practice 2: 11th 27.856 132.984 Friday Qualifying: 6th 27.373 133.718 Warm-Up: 2nd 27.163 136.377 Combined (after Warm-Up): 3rd 27.163 136.718 Started: 6th Race: 1st Best Lap (Fastest Race Lap): 42 27.147 136.457 Laps Led: 57