6.23.13 - Starting race day with downpours, weepers and lightning, most of the Andretti Autosport crew wasn't sure where today would take us. Luckily, it brought us to victory lane. The only third-time winner of the season, GoDaddy racer James Hinchcliffe ended his day with donuts on the front straight and bright green confetti in victory lane with teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay by his side. Rounding out the fab four, Marco Andretti and E.J. Viso completed the Andretti lineup coming in ninth and tenth, respectively.
The Mayor of Hinchtown’s first oval victory marks the team’s 48th win, and fourth consecutive trip to victory lane at Iowa Speedway. The 50 championship points that came with the Iowa Corn Ethanol gas pump trophy moved the Canadian to the fourth spot in the series championship points standing. "It’s Andretti Autosport, baby," said Hinch. "These guys have such a great track record here. We knew it was going to be different coming here and racing during the day. We took a couple gambles with the setup and really wanted to be sure it was going to be good in traffic and the turns, man that car was hooked up from the get-go. We pulled away from everybody, had a good race with Graham (Rahal) there on one of those restarts. The GoDaddy guys were great in the pits, it’s great to win here at Iowa, this is where GoDaddy started — and man I’m just so stoked. Thanks to the fans who fought out through the rain and stayed with us… an Andretti Autosport 1-2, I’m so stoked."
Joining Hinch on the all-Chevrolet podium was teammate, and last year’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay. Ryan rolled off from the 12th grid position with this DHL Chevy and fell back as far as 22nd before making his climb to the a second-place finish. With five top-three finishes in the last six starts this season the reigning champ sits second in the title fight, primed to defend the No. 1. "It was so hard to catch back up to James (Hinchcliffe) and then lapped traffic…” said Ryan. “But, hey, we can back from the back of the field to finish second. Definitely had the car to win today but just made a mistake there trying to get by Graham (Rahal), keeping my foot in it. The front just had no grip on it when I turned to pop out and pass him. Easy mistake. We had a tough weekend. To come second out of this thing, I’m pretty please with that. Good job to James. It was a good day in the points for the No. 1 DHL Chevy. We definitely have to be happy about that."
RC Cola driver Marco Andretti showed strength and speed in Iowa, where he claimed victory in 2011. Starting from the inside of the second row, Marco drove with the front runners a majority of the race before finishing ninth, his eighth top-10 finish this season. The third-generation racer remains third in the series title fight. "We started strong but (the car) was a total handful when it came to traffic later in the race. I’m disappointed we couldn’t get the RC Cola car up there with the teammates (James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay) but congrats to those two. We’ll head to Pocono next weekend and keep fighting. It’d be great to win one in my backyard."
One of the biggest movers at the start going from 16th grid position to as high as eighth, E.J. Viso brought home the No. 5 Chevy to the twin checkers in 10th, marking the Venezuelan's fifth top-10 finish this season. The 28-year-old moves up to 11th in the championship points standings. "It was a pretty up and down race at some points… especially in the beginning of the race we showed tremendous speed, and I thought, at that point, we were going to make it to the front. Unfortunately, in the second and third stint we didn’t have similar speed and I went to the back and recovered again to finish in the top 10. It was not the best weekend for us, even from the beginning. But, I’m happy for my teammates James (Hinchcliffe) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) who finished first and second."
After an eight-weekend stretch of racing action, our crews will return to Indianapolis for a weekend with their families and the IZOD IndyCar Series will pack up and head east for the next round of competition kicking off on July 4. The 400-mile race at Pennsylvania’s "Tricky Triangle" will end a long drought of Indy car racing at Pocono Speedway – the 2.5-mile track welcomes open-wheel racing back to the facility for the first time in over 20 years. A hometown race for the Andretti family, the weekend is sure to be packed with excitement. If you’re not able to join us for racing and fireworks from Pocono Speedway, be sure to tune in to ABC for all of the live broadcast action starting at 12 p.m. July 7.
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