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Old 10 Jul 2017, 05:36 am
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Default Honda Racing: Hunter-Reay, Honda Run Third in Iowa

This release contains: 1 Related Document, 1 Photo

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay charges from 15th to third at Iowa Speedway

  • Graham Rahal continues run of strong finishes with fifth-place result

  • Scott Dixon maintains championship lead with eighth-place finish


Ryan Hunter-Reay's charge from 15th on the grid to a third-place finish was a highlight for Honda Sunday afternoon at Iowa Speedway. The former series champion and three-time Iowa race winner equaled his best Verizon IndyCar Series result of the season and led the Honda field at the Iowa Corn 300.


Handling issues throughout practice and qualifying hampered Hunter-Reay at the short (0.894-mile) Iowa oval, the shortest track on the Indy car schedule. But by race time, Hunter-Reay and his Andretti Autosport team had found solutions to his difficulties, and the 2012 series champion began his climb through the field, moving into the top 10 by Lap 50, and running as high as second just before a rain shower stopped the race briefly at Lap 208. 


Off-sequence pit stops by some competitors jumbled the order for a time, but by Lap 240 Hunter-Reay was back in third place, and would hold that position to the finish.


Not far behind, Graham Rahal took his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda to a fifth-place finish, his fourth top-five result in the last five races. Starting 10th, Rahal made progress early in the race by being one of the first to adopt a "high line" around the steeply-banked Iowa oval, but he was unable to further improve when the leaders also moved up the race track in the closing laps.


Although he struggled with handling problems throughout the weekend, championship points leader Scott Dixon nevertheless persevered to an eighth-place finish and maintains an eight-point advantage in the drivers' title standings over race winner Helio Castroneves.  


Rookie Ed Jones continued to impress in his debut IndyCar Series season, running consistently in the top 10 today until a pit strategy gamble failed to pay off, dropping him to an unrepresentative 18th at the checkers.


Video recaps from this weekend's Honda IndyCar Series racing activities in Iowa are available on the "Honda Racing/HPD" YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV


Next week, the Verizon IndyCar Series returns to one of the most popular stops on the schedule at the July 16 Honda Indy Toronto, which will be contested on a temporary street circuit on the grounds of Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, Canada.


Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) started 15th, finished 3rd: "That was a tough drive. We just made the car better and better through the whole race.  I wasn't really happy with the car at the start of the weekend. I have to give big credit to my team and my engineer, Ray Gosselin, for putting the right setup on the car for the race. We finally got it to where I like it – some remnants of the past. A little more and we could've given these guys [in first and second] a run for their money. Congratulations to Helio [Castroneves] – it's great to see him win again. He's been right there knocking on the door for so long. Hats off to my DHL team and thank you to all the Iowa fans. We love coming here! Hopefully we can come back here at night some time, because that is my favorite." 


Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 17th, finished 8th, continues to lead drivers' championship: "It was a rough day for the NTT DATA car. We were just so loose [with chassis oversteer]. We tried to fix it with wing adjustments, tire pressure adjustments and cross-weights, but the rear was just loose for us, especially on restarts. As we got later in the run, we could beat up the right front tire and create some understeer, which helped. Our only option was to run the high line, and as soon as I went on the low line, [the car wanted] to spin out. All in all, I'm just happy I didn't crash today."


Marc Sours (Chief Engineer and Senior Manager, Honda Performance Development) on today's race: "Both Ryan [Hunter-Reay] and Graham [Rahal] ran consistently throughout the day, and it was great to see Ryan back on the podium at the finish.  Encouragingly, all of our Honda teams demonstrated the ability to run in the top 10 today. We've been working on our short-oval performance, and this indicates that we are moving in the right direction. We've got a short week ahead of us, but we always look forward to our Canadian round, and we're already well underway with our preparations for the Honda Indy Toronto next weekend."


 


Iowa Corn 300
Circuit: Iowa Speedway (0.894-mile oval) Newton, IA
2016 Winner: Josef Newgarden (Team Penske Honda) 144.330 mph average
Weather: Hot, 90 degrees F at start; increasing clouds and red flag for rain on Lap 208


Top-10 Race Results:








































































































Fn.

St.



Driver      



Team



Manufacturer



Laps



Notes



1.



  3.



Helio Castroneves



Team Penske



Chevrolet



300



139.702 mph average speed



2.



  2.



JR Hildebrand



Ed Carpenter Racing



Chevrolet



300



+3.9647 seconds



3.



15.



Ryan Hunter-Reay



Andretti Autosport



Honda  



300



 



4.



  1.



Will Power



Team Penske



Chevrolet



300



 



5.



10.



Graham Rahal



Rahal Letterman Lanigan



Honda



300



 



6.



16.



Josef Newgarden



Team Penske



Chevrolet



300



 



7.



11.



Simon Pagenaud



Team Penske



Chevrolet



300



 



8.



17.



Scott Dixon



Chip Ganassi Racing



Honda



300



 



  9.



  7.



Tony Kanaan



Chip Ganassi Racing



Honda



300



 



10.



  9.



James Hinchcliffe



Schmidt Peterson Mtspts



Honda



300



 



Other Honda Results













































































11.

12.



Alexander Rossi



Andretti Autosport



Honda  



299



Running



13.



18.



Esteban Gutierrez-R



Dale Coyne Racing



Honda  



299



Running



14.



13.



Max Chilton



Chip Ganassi Racing



Honda



299



Running 



15.



14.



Charlie Kimball



Chip Ganassi Racing



Honda



298



Running



16.



  5.



Takuma Sato



Andretti Autosport



Honda  



298



Running



17.



20.



Marco Andretti



Andretti Autosport



Honda  



298



Running



18.



  8.



Ed Jones-R



Dale Coyne Racing



Honda



297



Running 



21.



  6.



Mikhail Aleshin



Schmidt Peterson Mtspts



Honda



  74



Did not finish – crash



 


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