08.24.11 – Ryan Hunter-Reay looks to continue his podium streak this weekend at Infineon Raceway when the IZOD IndyCar Series returns to the wine country for the 13th round of the 17-race campaign, the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma set for Sunday, Aug. 28.
Hunter-Reay, official winner of the New Hampshire race on Aug. 14, has totaled 146 points in the past four races to vault from 15th in points to eighth with five races remaining in the 2011 trail. Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon have scored 140 points in the same time frame.
Hunter-Reay, with third place finishes at Toronto and Mid-Ohio road circuits in the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda machine, is anxious to come to the picturesque Napa Valley road course after a solid testing run last week. The Florida native has scored three consecutive top-ten finishes the last three races at Infineon Raceway including fourth in 2008.
The Andretti connection to Northern California racing dates back to 1983 when team president and CEO Michael Andretti won the Formula Atlantic race in Sonoma. He also won three CART races (1987, 1991 and 1992) at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif.
Marco Andretti, currently seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings, has a fond spot for the Napa Valley also. Not only is his grandfather Mario’s winery nearby, Andretti scored his first IndyCar victory at Infineon Raceway in 2006 at the famed 2.3-mile, 12-turn track. Andretti took his second career win earlier this year at Iowa on the small oval with the No. 26 Team All Natural Snapple car.
Another Andretti Autosport winner this year, Mike Conway seeks another impressive run with the No. 27 Team @FollowAndretti entry at Sonoma after he recorded his first podium finish at Infineon Raceway in 2009, a third place in his rookie season. Conway won the prestigious Long Beach Grand Prix in April.
Danica Patrick, one of only five drivers to have raced in all six previous IZOD IndyCar Series at Infineon Raceway, has scored three top-ten finishes at the legendary road circuit. The driver of the No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com car has a best of sixth in the 2007 Sonoma race.
The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma will be televised live on VERSUS TV Sunday at 4 p.m. EDT.