“I don’t want to say I was sitting there smiling in the car, but it was a lot of fun,” Hunter-Reay added. “I don’t know how to describe it other than to me it felt like a video game because you’re picking them off. It was just like warp speed. Cars were just flying by one after the other. I knew we had a shot at it, but that was pretty cool how it ended. I didn’t think we’d have enough time.”
There are six races over the next seven weeks for Hunter-Reay to make hay in the championship. He reclaimed third place in the standings with the 14th victory of his career – 32 points behind the front-running Helio Castroneves of Team Penske. Will Power is nine points out of first place.
A streak akin to 2012, when Hunter-Reay won consecutive races at Milwaukee, Iowa and Toronto to aid his title pursuit, would place him in solid contention heading into the Triple Crown series double-points season finale Aug. 30 at Auto Club Speedway. Last year on those three racetracks, Hunter-Reay won at Milwaukee, was runner-up at Iowa but finished 18th and 19th in the Toronto doubleheader after qualifying in the top six for both races on the temporary street circuit.
The Honda Indy Toronto – twin 85-lap races with race one on July 19 featuring a standing start – is up next. Both races carry full points. The ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest is Aug. 17.
“We’ve just been historically good on short ovals,” said Hunter-Reay, who extended Andretti Autosport’s winning streak to five years at Iowa Speedway. “The record looks really good. We got a win out of it, making the right call. But we’re going to go back and do some homework for Milwaukee.”