Hunter-Reay: “I was getting every last bit out of the car”

2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay says he never gave up trying to beat the Penskes in the second Detroit race, but in the end he was satisfied to not have misfortune fall his way.  

Hunter-Reay: “I was getting every last bit out of the car”
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Sébastien Bourdais, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
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The Andretti Autosport ace, who was taken out of victory contention at Indy 500 last week by a pitlane collision with Townsend Bell, said after the Detroit race: “It’s great to have the #28 Honda up front after such a heartbreaking end to our Indy 500. We had such a good car there.

“It was nice to have a day where nothing really wrong happens. That's all I've been looking for lately - just let's just have a day where I don't need luck. Just no bad luck.”

The American went on to describe his third place as “a solid finish”, but congratulated the winning squad.

He said: “We had a pretty decent car today, but congratulations to Team Penske. They were really the class of the field this weekend and those cars were hooked up. They just had the pace and there's only so much I could do about it. I was getting every last bit out of (the car).

“I was pretty happy in the end that we were able to keep up with them, and on the black [harder-compound] Firestones, the longer we ran, the better it seemed to be. We were catching them at the end there but too little, too late.”

Hunter-Reay said the Belle Isle track conditions were part of what makes the Motown races good, but joked that the double-header weekend may have taken a physical toll on him/

He remarked: “Our car was running so low that I think I’ve done some back damage here! It’s unreal how much bottoming there is, and how rough this place is, but it makes for some great racing.”

Strategy complexities

Having started on the outside of the front row by topping this morning’s second group in qualifying, Hunter-Reay confessed that he did struggle to remain on top of which of his rivals were on which strategy at any given time.

He said: “Apologies to the fans at home who try to follow this, because I’m in the car and sometimes I can’t follow it.

“What you’ve got to keep in mind is that everyone’s trying to pit at the right time based off of [full-course caution] yellows, and you don’t know when they’re coming. So the only thing you can do as a driver is push as hard as you can no matter what, because you may be 15th in the field, but second on your strategy. That pass you make for 14th could be the pass for the win. Your strategy may be the one that pays off in the end. You just have to maintain focus and over the years you learn to just keep your head down and keep fighting.

“No matter what, you need to go at 110 percent the entire race. There’s no letting up.”

 

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