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Old 15 Jun 2018, 07:00 am
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Default Honda Racing: Hunter-Reay Completes Honda?s Detroit Doubleheader Sweep

This release contains: 1 Related Document, 4 Photos

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay uses speed, three-pit stop strategy to win on Belle Isle

  • Late-race brake issues cost Alexander Rossi shot at victory  

  • Honda drivers claim five of top six finishing positions


DETROIT, Mich. – For the second consecutive year, Honda drivers swept both rounds of the Dual in Detroit doubleheader Verizon IndyCar Series weekend, as Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay prevailed for his first victory of 2018 on Sunday, after a thrilling late-lap duel with teammate Alexander Rossi.


In Saturday's opening round, Scott Dixon led a Honda sweep of the top six finishing positions, with Hunter-Reay and Rossi completing the podium.


Sunday's second round of a doubleheader race weekend in Detroit became a contest of race strategies, with just over half the field running a two-pit stop strategy – which required both fuel saving and tire management – and those electing to make three pit stops, using the extra speed provided to reach the front of the field.


Honda drivers claimed five of Sunday's top six finishing positions on the Belle Isle temporary circuit.  Ed Jones scored his second podium finish of the season, bringing his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda home third, with teammate Scott Dixon following his victory on Saturday with a fourth-place result today.  Rebounding from a crash in yesterday's race, Graham Rahal came home fifth, with Robert Wickens rounding out the top six for Honda.


In the closing laps of the 70-lap contest, the race became a battle of Honda-powered Andretti Autosport teammates:  the two-stopping Rossi and three-stopping Hunter-Reay.  With 15 laps to go, Rossi, who had made his second and final stop on Lap 46, was attempting to hold off Hunter-Reay, who had made his third and final stop on Lap 52. 


Fresher tires for Hunter-Reay appeared to make the difference, as he rapidly closed on Rossi.  After locking up his front brakes going into the 90-degree Turn 3 on Lap 64, Rossi again locked up entering the same corner one lap later, this time sliding into the runoff area and resuming with a deflating left-front tire.  Rossi was forced to pit for tires at the end of that lap, dropping him to a 12th place finish.


The win is the first for Hunter-Reay this season, and his 17th career Indy car victory.  Combined with his second-place finish on Saturday, Hunter-Reay is now fourth in the Drivers' Championship standings with 278 points.  Will Power leads the title battle with 309 points, followed by Saturday's race winner, Dixon, with 304 points; and Rossi with 298 points.


Indy car's five-week run of consecutive May-June event weekends concludes next week, as the series heads south to Dallas-Fort Worth for Round Nine, the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, June 9.


Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started 10th, finished first, first win of 2018, 17th career Indy car victory: "After my second set of blacks [harder compound tires], I got in sync with the car and it did everything I needed it to do.  I started that last stint with Rossi a straightaway ahead of me, but I had such a good car and it was flying. I had great pit stops and strategy and drove my butt off.  If we can continue this streak, and fight for the championship, that's what we're here for.  I'm proud to be a winner here." 


Ed Jones (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started fourth, finished third: "It was a fantastic day for the NTT DATA team. The guys really did a good job with the car this weekend. We started off a bit slow but the important thing is that we improved every session and earned our way here today. Today's podium was another step in the right direction for the team and I'm looking forward to getting back after it at Texas in a few short days."


Art St. Cyr (president, Honda Performance Development) on today's Honda sweep of the Detroit doubleheader race weekend: "This is a great way to cap off a weekend of wins for Honda and Acura.  To come away with two Indy car victories, and taking five of the six podium positions, speaks to the strengths of our Indy car program. In addition, we're celebrating another victory for our Acura NSX GT3, a double-podium finish for our ARX-05 prototype and a win for Honda at the Baja 500 [desert truck race]. Congratulations to Scott for Saturday's win, the 42nd of his career, and to Ryan for his 'pure pace' victory today." 


 


Verizon IndyCar Series Detroit Grand Prix
Circuit:                 Belle Isle Park (2.35-mile temporary street circuit) Detroit, Mich.
2017 Winners:     Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 103.015 mph average, Race 1, Saturday
                             Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 105.442 mph average, Race 2, Sunday
Weather:              Mostly sunny, mild, 69 degrees F


Top-10 Race Results:








































































































Fn.

St.



Driver      



Team



Manufacturer



Laps



Notes



  1.



10.



Ryan Hunter-Reay



Andretti Autosport



Honda  



70



105.176 mph average



  2.



  3.



Will Power



Team Penske



Chevrolet



70



+ 11.3549



  3.



  4.



Ed Jones



Chip Ganassi Racing



Honda



70



 



  4.



  5.



Scott Dixon



Chip Ganassi Racing



Honda



70





  5.



  9.



Graham Rahal



Rahal Letterman Lanigan



Honda



70





  6.



  2.



Robert Wickens-R



Schmidt Peterson Mtspts



Honda



70





  7.



22.



Tony Kanaan



A.J. Foyt Racing



Chevrolet



70



 



  8.



21.



Charlie Kimball



Carlin Racing



Chevrolet



70



 



  9.



12.



Marco Andretti



Andretti Autosport



Honda  



70





10.



19.



Josef Newgarden



Team Penske



Chevrolet



70



 



Other Honda Results



























































12.

  1.



Alexander Rossi



Andretti Autosport



Honda  



70



Running



13.



  7.



Zach Veach-R



Andretti Autosport



Honda  



70



Running



16.



  6.



James Hinchcliffe



Schmidt Peterson Mtspts



Honda



70



Running



17.



20.



Takuma Sato



Rahal Letterman Lanigan



Honda



70



Running



20.



13.



Santino Ferrucci-R



Dale Coyne Racing



Honda  



69



Running



21.



16.



Sebastien Bourdais



DCR with Vasser-Sullivan



Honda  



67



Running



 


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