• Ryan Hunter-Reay scores his third win of 2014 in a 1-2 finish for Honda
• Josef Newgarden finishes second, equaling career-best finish
• Honda’s sixth IndyCar Series race victory of 2014
Honda-powered Ryan Hunter-Reay became the first three-time winner of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Saturday night at Iowa Speedway, when his Andretti Autosport team made a bold call to give up track position and make a pit stop for fresh tires during a late-race caution period.
Running in 10th place when the green flag waved with just nine laps remaining around the tight, eight-tenths of a mile oval, Hunter-Reay rocketed through the field, passing multiple cars, and overtook race leader Tony Kanaan as the pair took the white flag for the penultimate lap. The victory was Hunter-Reay’s third of the season, following wins at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and the Indianapolis 500.
With his Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team making the same late-race call, Josef Newgarden emerged from the pits even further back – 12th– but put on an equally impressive charge to also work his way past Kanaan on the final lap. His second-place finish is his best of 2014, and equals his career-best IndyCar Series result.
Ryan Hunter-Reay(#28 Andretti Autosport Honda) Iowa race winner, first three-time race winner in 2014:“What a crazy night; it was unreal. We up picked some spots early in the race, but it was really frustrating at times, as we seemed unable to move up from seventh or eighth. At the end, [team owner] Michael Andretti made a bold move, calling for fresh tires. That was so much fun, to be on new tires while everyone else was on old ones. I was passing cars right and left. It was blur, picking a line and just slicing through them. Tony [Kanaan] was tough, though, even on old tires. It made for a good show. We definitely stole one tonight.”
Josef Newgarden (#67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda) started 21st, finished 2nd: “It’s nice to get a result, finally. Maybe it was a little unorthodox, but sometimes you’ve got to make the calls that will put you in that position.It was like a video game at the end, and I knew it was goingto be really interesting. It was just a question of finding a clear lane[to move forward]. It was crazy how effective new tires were compared to30-35 lap-oldtires. They were so much faster, it was almost easy. We probablygot more than we deserved tonight, and sometimes you have to takethat. I’m happy for our group. Hopefully we can build some momentum fromthis.”
Marc Sours (Senior Manager, Chief Engineer, Commercial Division) on tonight’s 1-2 finish for Honda: “Tonight’s race just goes to show that in racing, just as in life, perseverance is a useful characteristic. Until the final 10 laps, when different tire strategies came into play, it appeared to be difficult to pass in the race, and for a lot of the race, the running order was not too different from qualifying. It took a calculated risk by a few of our teams right at the end to make the difference. Congratulations to Ryan Hunter-Reay, the Andretti Autosport organization and to Josef Newgarden and the Sarah Fisher Hartman team on making the right calls, and never giving up.”