Defending Iowa winner Hunter-Reay reflects on 2015 struggles

Ryan Hunter-Reay is running out of time to end this season on a high note.

Defending Iowa winner Hunter-Reay reflects on 2015 struggles

By all accounts, Ryan Hunter-Reay’s 2015 campaign in the Verizon IndyCar Series has been less than stellar. The 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner is 14th in the championship points, behind both full-time teammates Marco Andretti in seventh and Carlos Munoz in 12th.

Searching for results

His best result came Barber Motorsports Park when he placed fifth. Other than a seventh at St. Petersburg and an eighth in Detroit's second race, Hunter-Reay has failed to crack the top ten. But while Hunter-Reay has struggled, Andretti Autosport teammate Munoz earned his first IndyCar victory at Detroit while Andretti holds the impressive honor of being the only driver to have completed every lap this season.

We seem to be a few steps behind and every time we show up at a race weekend ... What’s worked for us in the past is not working now, so we kind of start from scratch

Ryan Hunter-Reay

What has been missing from Hunter-Reay’s performance this year?

“I just haven’t had the car to lean on. I need the car to do certain things in order for me to get the extra three tenths out of it that has been so successful over the past three seasons which has put us in victory lane numerous times every year,” Hunter-Reay said.

Rain and short weekends not helping

Hunter-Reay added that the shorter weekends and the constant rain hasn't helped: “IndyCar weekends tend to be very short, the longer road and street course weekends we’ve had have had rain and been rained out on certain sessions, for one reason or another it’s been very short weekends every time and we just haven’t been able to close that gap or at least you know, chip into it.

“We seem to be a few steps behind and every time we show up at a race weekend we have to turn the setup upside down from years past. What’s worked for us in the past is not working now, so we kind of start from scratch,” Hunter-Reay explained.

Past glory at Iowa

His last IndyCar win came in this very race last year after a late pit stop gave him an advantage with fresh tires, passing Tony Kanaan with only a handful of laps remaining. However, with new aero kits changing handling characteristics of the cars, Hunter-Reay is uncertain about his chances to win this time around.

“I haven’t been on track here with the new car [and] the new aero kit so I’m not really sure what kind of car we have. At Milwaukee in years past we’ve been pretty dominant and had a harder time at it this year for sure, we didn’t have the grip to lean on, just kind of sliding on top of the track so hopefully we don’t have that here, but we’ll see how it goes today. Testing’s going to be crucial today and where it all heads. It’s definitely been tougher to come upon that grip that we need and what I’ve been used to over the past few years,” Hunter-Reay admitted.

This weekend will be another short one. Hunter-Reay has two 45 minute practice sessions Friday before qualifying tomorrow afternoon and the race starting at 7:50pm local time. 

shares
comments
IndyCar Series race showed a significant TV viewership gain over the 2014 race
Previous article

IndyCar Series race showed a significant TV viewership gain over the 2014 race

Next article

All-Brazilian front row at Iowa

All-Brazilian front row at Iowa
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021