Hunter-Reay going for wins but ready to help Rossi title bid

Ryan Hunter-Reay admits that with his own championship campaign having faltered, he’s just going for race victories – but will also do what he can to help Alexander Rossi bring the IndyCar title back to Andretti Autosport.

Hunter-Reay going for wins but ready to help Rossi title bid

Hunter-Reay, who won the 2012 IndyCar title after a close battle with Team Penske’s Will Power, won at Detroit this year – his first win for almost three years – but has suffered multiple misfortunes elsewhere. The latest was his now infamous collision with Robert Wickens at Pocono which launched the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car into a vicious crash and left the Andretti car with extensive damage.

The result is that Hunter-Reay now lies 119 points behind championship leader Scott Dixon, while Rossi is only 29 adrift of the Chip Ganassi Racing driver.

Asked when he would start playing wingman for Rossi, Hunter-Reay commented: “We're definitely still in the fight, at least for the top three. The championship? I'd have to win from here out and these guys have a really bad few weeks, no doubt. It's still possible, but it's a far stretch.

“We're concentrating on just getting race wins. That's what it's been all year, and that's what we're focused on. Obviously Alex and I have worked really well in the past together. We always have. If there's anything that we can do in the final stretch to bring the Andretti Autosport team back to being champions here in the Verizon IndyCar Series, that's our ultimate goal.

“We had a pretty good run going this season and the past couple weeks have been tough for us, but we still have some good strong races ahead, and hopefully we can both make a run for it.”

For his part Rossi said that the team was “not looking at wingman scenarios right now” but said he appreciated the knowledge he’s gained from Hunter-Reay.

“I would say the majority of what I've learned in this series has come from Ryan,” said Rossi, “so I attest a lot of things, especially on ovals, to what he's explained to me and taught me and demonstrated. I think we work well together and we're both fighting for race wins and working together to try and make that happen.

“I still need to win races. Scott is not – as I've said many times – going to have a bad weekend, so we're still quite a ways out, and the only way to close that gap is to win races. We're not looking at wingman scenarios right now, we're just both trying to build fast racecars to go win races.

Rossi paid tribute to his other two teammates, Marco Andretti and Zach Veach, for letting him lap them at Pocono last weekend and making life harder for his adversary, Power.

“I think that Marco and Zach were awesome for me in Pocono,” he said. “I came up to lap them, and they made my life really easy. Unfortunately Josef [Newgarden, Penske] was right in front of them, so he made my life difficult to try and help Will!

“I think that that's really the extent of what you're going to see – if [a teammate] is having an off day, they'll try and make your life as painless as possible. But in terms of anything beyond that, I don't really have any scenarios to answer that question or previous experiences to fall back upon. He [Hunter-Reay] is the one that's won a championship, not me.”

 

shares
comments
Q&A: IndyCar’s Frye on Wickens shunt and consequences
Previous article

Q&A: IndyCar’s Frye on Wickens shunt and consequences

Next article

Gateway IndyCar: Rossi leads rain-interrupted first practice

Gateway IndyCar: Rossi leads rain-interrupted first practice
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