Cleveland: Ryan Hunter-Reay race report

Hunter-Reay dominates Cleveland, earns third Atlantic victory. As a three-week stretch of races comes to a close, Atlantic rookie Hunter-Reay went two-for-three today, when he won his third Atlantic race of the 2002 season at the Burke lakefront...

Hunter-Reay dominates Cleveland, earns third Atlantic victory.

As a three-week stretch of races comes to a close, Atlantic rookie Hunter-Reay went two-for-three today, when he won his third Atlantic race of the 2002 season at the Burke lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his third pole of the season yesterday, when he shattered the track record on the temporary road course; he is now the series leader for pole positions and also the series leader in race wins. With today's victory, Hunter-Reay secured second position in the series points chase and sits just eight points out of the championship lead, he also leads the Rookie of the Year battle in one of the most competitive Rookie fields in the Atlantic history.

Today, Hunter-Reay took the green flag from the coveted pole position and he masterfully led the 24-car field through the much-anticipated first turn. Nothing could hinder Hunter-Reay's efforts, as he led every lap, a fete he has accomplished twice this year; he became the first driver to win from the pole position last month at Laguna Seca when he recorded his first Atlantic victory. All three of Hunter-Reay's victories have resulted from race domination, he recorded a nine-second margin of victory at Laguna Seca, followed by an eight-second margin of victory two-weeks ago in Chicago and today he had the field covered by nearly an entire straight away when he recorded a seven-second of victory.

Hylton Motorsports is enjoying the sweet taste of success that Hunter-Reay has given the team, yesterdays pole was the seventh for Hylton Motorsports and today's victory was the team's ninth, their first win came in 2001 at Milwaukee. Hylton Motorsports has won four of the last six races and nine of the last 20 Atlantic events; this was the second consecutive win for Hylton Motorsports at the Burke Lakefront Airport.

Hunter-Reay on His Victory:

"I had one of the best cars I have ever driven today. We knew if we could get this kind of set-up we would challenge for the lead. It was a dream race as a driver because I had a solid lead without anyone breathing too closely down my neck, but it's never easy. The start of the race was almost like qualifying. You just get as much of a lead as possible as soon as possible. Once I had the gap developed, I had to really take care of my car and manage the pace. We are second now in the championship and easily within reach to take the lead, so I am looking forward to our next race at Trois Rivieres."

<pre> Ryan Hunter-Reay, #1 Medlock Ames Winery/u.s. print/Toyota/Swift

EVENT                   RESULTS TIME            SPEED (Mph)
Friday Practice         3rd     1:07.529        112.272
Friday Qualifying       2nd     1:17.112        112.969
Saturday Practice       1st     1:05.877        115.087
Combined Practice       1st     1:05.877        115.087
Saturday Qualifying     1st     1:05.225        116.238
Warm Up                 4th     1:07.247        112.743
Started                 1st
Race Result             1st
Best Lap                25      1:06.465        114.069

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay