EDMONTON, July 26, 2009--When the Rexall Edmonton Indy began, it appeared Ryan Hunter-Reay and the ABC Supply team were going to have a good day. The changes made to the No. 14 car Saturday night following qualifying were to the driver's liking...
EDMONTON, July 26, 2009--When the Rexall Edmonton Indy began, it appeared Ryan Hunter-Reay and the ABC Supply team were going to have a good day.
The changes made to the No. 14 car Saturday night following qualifying were to the driver's liking as he was in the top-10 for most of the final practice on race morning. In the race, Hunter-Reay got a good start advancing from his 21st grid position to 15th, aided by the mistakes of several cars ahead of him. By lap 16, he moved to 14th.
He pitted on lap 31 and when the pit stops cycled out, he'd picked up an additional three positions to move into 11th. Running the Firestone alternate red-rimmed tires on the first two stints of the race, Hunter-Reay pitted for his final set of tires and fuel on lap 64.
That final set of tires were the primary black ones which didn't seem to work as well as the alternates. Running 12th and chasing down 11th, Hunter-Reay had a slight miscue on lap 76, did a quarter spin and tagged the wall in turn 10, knocking his rear wing askew.
"The rear stepped out -- it went sideways and did a quarter spin," he said afterwards. "I almost had it off the wall but nicked it just enough. I got that black set of tires and from the start of it, it was not happy at all. I don't know why, they were just sliding all around on me."
He limped back to the pits and the crew replaced the wing but struggled to disentangle the two sets of tethers. When he rejoined the race, he was eight laps down to the leader in 17th position, which is where he finished.
The race went without a full course yellow until the final two laps when Tomas Scheckter spun and hit the wall in turn 10. Pole winner Will Power won under caution after leading 90 of the 95 laps for his first IndyCar Series victory. He was followed by Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti.
Tony Kanaan sustained burns to his thumbs and face after his car caught fire while leaving his pitbox on lap 34. The fuel hose remained open after the stop, splashing fuel on the car which then ignited. The Penske and Panther teams acted quickly to extinguish the fire. Kanaan will be evaluated by IndyCar Series medical personnel this week.
The ABC Supply transporter will head straight to Kentucky Speedway while the crew will head there on Tuesday to switch the cars' configuration from road course to oval track.