Defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was solid all race long at The Milwaukee Mile and closed out Saturday with his second consecutive win in the Milwaukee IndyFest. It is the second win of the 2013 season for his Andretti Autosport team and his third overall at Milwaukee in his career.
"In the end we knew what we had to do to win and what a race it was," Hunter-Reay said as he held his son of less-than-a-year on father's day weekend in victory lane. "It was a lot of fun."
The win was the ninth of Hunter-Reay's IndyCar Series career.
His teammate Marco Andretti had the car to beat coming into the 250 lap race and had the pole position. Hunter-Reay started fourth but jumped around the outside in Turn 1 and 2 to move into second on lap 1.
The first caution period came out on lap 20 when Simona De Silvestro spun. She ended retiring from the race and finished last in 24th. The leaders stayed out on the caution while some other cars made pit stops.
On the lap 27 restart Alex Tagliani spun out coming off of Turn 4 and the second caution was out. Tagliani ended up retiring later in the race and finished 23rd.
The race got back going on lap 32 with Marco Andretti leading Hunter-Reay and Will Power. On lap 54 Sebastien Bourdais slowed with a fuel pressure problem while running in the top 10. He also ran over his air gun after the pit stop and had to serve a pass through penalty. He later retired from the race with a 22nd place finish.
On lap 62 Ryan Hunter-Reay passed Marco Andretti for the lead and then on lap 63 EJ Viso passed Andretti for second. Viso then pitted under green on lap 65 and Hunter-Reay and Andretti did so on lap 67. Andretti had a slow stop when the team had trouble pulling the fuel hose from the car.
Takuma Sato found himself in the lead then as he could run longer after stopping on lap 23 under the first caution. He ended up pitting from the lead on lap 91 which then gave the lead to EJ Viso with Hunter-Reay in second, and Will Power third. Sato came out in fourth.
On lap 96 Marco Andretti slowed and then stopped on the track with electrical issues to bring out the third caution. The team got Andretti back on the track after changing the electrical boxes but Andretti finished in 20th.
Sato and Helio Castroneves stayed out under the caution and restarted out front on lap 108 with Hunter-Reay in third, Viso fourth, and James Hinchcliffe fifth.
Sato pulled away before Castroneves closed back in. On lap 150 the running order was the same as the restart.
Castroneves pitted on lap 155, Sato on 157 which then put Hunter-Reay into the lead. He pitted on lap 165 and Viso on lap 166 which then put Sato back in front on lap 168 with a 4.2 second lead over Castroneves.
On lap 196 Hunter-Reay was on the charge and passed Castroneves for second and then overtook Sato for the lead on lap 198. Sato made his last stop on lap 200.
Ana Beatriz spun and brought out the fourth caution at lap 212. She finished in 19th. The caution was bad for Sato as it let the other lead lap cars pit under the caution. Hunter-Reay's crew did a great job to get him off the pits with the lead over Castroneves and Will Power for the lap 220 restart.
Hunter-Reay had no problem over the final 30 laps and pulled away to victory as the the Team Penske drivers of Castroneves and Power battled it out for second. Castroneves won that to take second with Power in third. EJ Viso finished fourth, James Hinchcliffe fifth, Scott Dixon sixth, Takuma Sato seventh, and Dario Franchitti eighth as the last lead lap car.
Castroneves holds the IndyCar points lead by 16 points over Ryan Hunter-Reay after nine races.
Next up for the IndyCar Series is the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, June 23rd.
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