Posted: Thursday, June 5th 2014 at 7:43pm
Indy winner Hunter-Reay ready for Texas challenge
By Jenna Fryer, AP Auto Racing Writer
Ryan Hunter-Reay takes the traditional drink of milk in victory lane after winning last month's Indianapolis 500. / Photo: Shawn Gritzmacher
FORT WORTH, TX - Ryan Hunter-Reay was run ragged across the country during a media blitz following his Indianapolis 500 victory, and the American didn't get a chance to relax until he got to the race track last weekend in Detroit.
But the euphoria from Indy came to a crashing halt in his first qualifying session when Hunter-Reay hit the wall and damaged the rear suspension. It set the tone for a miserable weekend at Belle Isle, where Hunter-Reay logged finishes of 16th and 19th in the doubleheader event. Even worse, his point lead vanished.
Hunter-Reay left Indy up 400 points over Will Power, but Belle Isle dropped him to third in the standings, down 27.
"It was a long weekend," he said. "I'll try to erase this one from my memory and move on to Texas. Nothing we did worked."
Next is a Saturday night race at Texas Motor Speedway, the second oval on the IndyCar schedule. Hunter-Reay was second at Texas last year, his first podium in seven career starts.
"It is such a big track, but it is so challenging," Hunter-Reay said. "Right now, with our (aero) package the way it is, the track's condition the way it is with our Firestone tires, it's racing like a shorter oval at higher speeds. It's got every kind of mixture of difficulty. It always ends up being one heck of a show."
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