Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ryan Hunter-Reay Wins the 98th Indianapolis 500

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Ryan Hunter-Reay survived a wild finish to win the 98th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday afternoon.

Hunter-Reay had to hold off Helio Castroneves during the final laps.  The two had to race on the inside of the track while swapping the lead over the final 10 laps.

“There was no practice; we never really ran those lines all month,” said Hunter-Reay.  “Everything we all did at the end there was all new.  That was some fantastic racing.”

Photo courtesy CBS Sports
The race began with a very long green-flag run.  Hunter-Reay qualified 19th, and this run allowed him to work his way to the front.  He took the lead for the first time on lap 94 in the middle of green-flag pit stops.

The first caution of the day came out on lap 150 when Charlie Kimball spun coming out of Turn 2.

Hunter-Reay took the lead when the race restarted, and he and pole-sitter Ed Carpenter swapped the lead until Scott Dixon spun on lap 168 to bring out the second caution.

On lap 175, Hunter-Reay led the field back to the green flag.  Going into Turn 1, James Hinchcliffe got together with Carpenter, sending both driver into the wall.

On lap 180, Hunter-Reay took the green flag.  He raced with Marco Andretti and Castroneves for the lead until Townsend Bell hit the wall on lap 191.  

The race was red-flagged so that the wreck could be cleaned up and repairs could be made to the outside wall.  IndyCar officials also wanted the fans to see the race end under the green flag if possible.

The race restarted with six laps to go, and Hunter-Reay swapped the lead with Castroneves.   Hunter-Reay took the lead coming to the white flag, and he was able to hold off Castroneves to take the victory.

Here are the unofficial results:

1. Ryan Hunter-Reay
2. Helio Castroneves
3. Marco Andretti
4. Carlos Munoz
5. Juan Pablo Montoya
6. Kurt Busch
7. Sebastien Bourdais
8. Will Power
9. Sage Karam
10. JR Hildebrand
11. Oriol Servia
12. Simon Pagenaud
13. Alex Tagliani
14. Jacques Villeneuve
15. Sebastian Saavedra
16. James Davison
17. Carlos Huertas
18. Ryan Briscoe
19. Takuma Sato
20. Jack Hawksworth
21. Mikhail Aleshin
22. Justin Wilson
23. Martin Plowman
24. Pippa Mann
25. Townsend Bell
26. Tony Kanaan
27. Ed Carpenter
28. James Hinchcliffe
29. Scott Dixon
30. Josef Newgarden
31. Charlie Kimball
32. Buddy Lazier
33. Graham Rahal

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