WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Ryan Hunter-Reay continued Andretti Autosport’s domination at the Milwaukee Mile, winning the IndyCar event Saturday for the second year in a row.
Hunter-Reay became the first driver to win back-to-back races at the Mile since Tony Kanaan in 2006 and 2007 when he was driving for – you guessed it – Andretti.
I love this place, said Hunter-Reay, who won his third career race at Milwaukee.
Every driver you ask, it’s the oval they respect the most. It’s hard to get it right. It opens up to two lanes and it creates some great racing.
Andretti drivers have won five of the last nine races at the mile oval and nearly had a perfect day Saturday in a race that was promoted for the second year by Michael Andretti’s marketing company. Hunter-Reay got the win, E.J. Viso finished fourth and James Hinchcliffe was fifth.
The only blemish was pole-sitter Marco Andretti, who led the first 62 laps before his day fell apart with an electrical issue.
He let me down, joked father Michael Andretti. I really feel bad for Marco. He was running really strong, really strong all weekend.
But it was still a huge success for Andretti, who is in negotiations with IndyCar to promote the race next year.
It’s just a huge win for us for sure, Andretti said. Last year, this win kick-started Ryan’s year, hopefully it’s going to do it again. He did a great job and to win our race, the one that we promoted, is just awesome.
For Hunter-Reay, it was the second win of the season for the defending IndyCar Series champion. And as Andretti said, it came at the site of the track he used to jump-start last year’s title run – Hunter-Reay reeled off three consecutive wins starting with Milwaukee last season to climb into the championship race.
This year, though, he got to celebrate an early Father’s Day gift with son Ryden.
Those last few laps I was thinking, Man, I’ve got to do this for him,’ Hunter-Reay said. It’s so special, he’s 6 months old, getting to have my little guy here in Victory Lane is the best Father’s Day gift.
IndyCar Series points leader Helio Castroneves was second and followed by Penske Racing teammate Will Power as Chevrolet swept the podium. It was the first podium finish this season for Power, who hasn’t won a race since Brazil last year.
Scott Dixon was sixth in the highest-finishing Honda and was followed by A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato. Dario Franchitti, Justin Wilson and Kanaan rounded out the top 10. Marco Andretti wound up 20th and was passed by teammate Hunter-Reay for second place in the IndyCar standings.