He’ll gladly take all the points available in searching for his first series title, which is what Ryan Hunter-Reay did in the 90-lap race on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports road course. The Andretti Autosport driver, who kicked off defense of his series title with an 18th-place (mechanical) finish at St. Petersburg, earned the Verizon P1 Award and went on to win the race by .636 of a second over Dixon.
He accumulated four bonus points – one for the pole, two for leading the most laps and one for leading a lap – for a total of 54, which vaulted him into third in the standings. After two races in 2012, Hunter-Reay had totaled 53 points.
“I felt like coming into Barber this was going to be the start of our season,” said Hunter-Reay, who won four times last season and secured the title by three points over Team Penske’s Will Power. “We had a big hole to dig out of from St. Pete. We pulled a win. That’s a new feat for us at Andretti Autosport.
“Several times in the offseason I said our biggest weaknesses were the permanent road courses like Barber and Sonoma, and the big superspeedways like Texas and Fontana. The guys gave me a great car.
“(This result) really shows that we’re a threat every weekend. That’s what we need to be to win championships is be a threat every weekend. I have a good feeling we will be at Long Beach, Sao Paulo, and Indy, too. We’re getting more work done early in the season than last year. Last year we started going on our hot streak much later in the season. So, hopefully, this is a sign of things to come.”