Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda said that his car was on rails on Sunday as he took his first Verizon IndyCar Series win in 42 races and the 17th of his career in race two of the Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix presented by Lear.
Hunter Reay who finished race one in second place behind Scott Dixon took victory ahead of Indianapolis 500 champion Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
Speaking following the race, Hunter Reay said that the No.28 DHL Honda was the best car on track on Sunday and that showed as he was able to close the gap to his team mate, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi and when Rossi ran wide, Hunter Reay took advantage and was able to get by his team mate who was forced to pit for repairs and finished the race in 12th.
Hunter Reay has now moved up to fourth place in the series standings on 278 points following his double podium finish this weekend heading to the next event, the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway next weekend.
Speaking following the race he commented by saying;
You know, after I took that second set of blacks, the Firestone primary tires, I started to get in sync with the car and the balance started coming to me. I was really worried in the beginning because we were really loose, and then as I got into a rhythm, the car was doing everything I needed it to – everything. When we started that last stint, (Alexander) Rossi was more than a straightaway ahead of us. I couldn’t even see him. I just put my head down and this thing was flying. It was such a great car. I’m so happy for this No. 28 DHL Honda team. I wish my wife and the boys were here with me because they’re the best, and this has been a bit of a long time coming. That was going to be a heck of a fight at the end, but good thing we pressured him (Rossi) into it and we’re here in victory lane. It’s awesome – this car deserves to be where it is right now. That was a heck of a car, heck of a strategy, great in the pit lane and I drove my rear end off.
Alexander Rossi who finished the race in 12th place commented by saying;
It was a pretty disappointing day considering we led the most laps and started on pole. For sure we didn’t have the pace for Ryan (Hunter-Reay) – he was just on another level. So hats off to him and the DHL team, they certainly deserved to win. But the Ruoff Home Mortgage car definitely had a second-place finish in it. Unfortunately, with less than 10 laps to go, our luck changed. We’re not really sure what happened, we’re going to investigate to see if something went wrong because it was a very abnormal issue to have when we hadn’t experienced anything remotely similar all weekend.
Marco Andretti in the No.98 AutoNation Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport finished the race in ninth place and speaking following the race he said:
The AutoNation car was great this weekend. Unfortunately, today we got caught out in a three-stop strategy and kept getting caught in traffic. The car had the pace, I had the pace, we just couldn’t take advantage of it. We passed a lot of cars today and it was a lot of fun out there, it just wasn’t the result we wanted.”
Zach Veach in the No.26 Relay/Group 1001 Honda finished the race in 13th place and speaking following the race he said:
I felt like it was a much better race for the Relay team today even though the results didn’t show it. We got caught up in the beginning with our Reds (Firestone alternate tires) falling off, so we had to switch from a two-stop to a three-stop strategy – which was something we were hoping we wouldn’t have to do. I feel like that cost us and placed us back in the 10th to 15th range. Everybody did an incredible job from my Relay crew to my engineer, Garrett. I’m just thankful we were able to walk away with two average finishes. That’s what this rookie year is all about – learning from each race and I can honestly say we’ve learned a lot so far.