Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 10/29/14
Camping_world_indy_be34
Team Penske has had a stranglehold on Barber Motorsports Park. Until Sunday, they’d won every pole award and race all four years around the 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course just east of Birmingham, Alabama. This weekend that ended as momentum shifted towards Andretti Autosport. Ryan Hunter-Reay earned his first career top 10 start at Barber with earning the pole on Saturday afternoon. The defending series champ backed that up with his first win of the season with taking the checkered flag in today’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Hunter-Reay led three times for 53 Laps in the 90 Lap event, including the winning move past Helio Castroneves within the final 20 laps. His No. 1 DHL Chevrolet was the dominant car all day as he moved from 18th in the standings to third after today heading to Long Beach in two weeks. “I was driving my tail off trying to stay in front of Dixon,” said Hunter-Reay, who rebounded from an 18th-place finish in the season opener at St. Petersburg on March 24. His team owner Michael Andretti said, “It really was a perfect weekend. We got the pole in both races and the win both races and led most of the laps, you can’t ask for much more than that. I’m really happy and proud of the whole DHL crew. They did a great job all weekend, and the whole Andretti team and it was really good. We knew we had to get it done because we had the reds and Helio had the blacks, and that’s how Helio was able to get us, so we had to try to return the favor.” Scott Dixon came home second for the fourth consecutive year around the 17-turn road course. He had a very good car all day but once again came home bridesmaid. After finishing fifth in St. Pete and second today Dixon moved up to second in the season standings nine points out of the lead. He said he was playing from behind all day. “Today was a day of catch up, a big fumble at the start with Will (Power) and it backed the whole line up and we dropped to like sixth or seventh. I think at first I ran the blacks there was a real mismatched set for some reason and it had loads of understeer, I lost eight or more seconds on that one stint. Pulled Charlie (Kimball) back up and then the reds, got stuck behind him and had a fumble in the pits and it was just one of those days where the car was really fast. I think we had the speed to win the race quite happily but we were just playing catch up all day.” Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion and inaugural Barber champion Castroneves rounded out the podium today as he used some bad luck for James Hinchcliffe to take over the points lead. Castroneves, led 25 Laps towards the end of the race with a great pit strategy but was passed by the faster Hunter-Reay with 17 Laps to go. Dark horse Charlie Kimball came home fourth today after having one of the best cars he’s ever had. Kimball, who started fifth today, battled with cars all day and came home with his second best Izod IndyCar Series finish. He now sits a career-best sixth in the standings and only 28 points behind Castroneves for the points lead. Two-time defending champion Will Power came home fifth as he struggled in traffic all day. “It was a tough start for us, we couldn’t get in the right slot and then committed to a different strategy to hopefully get the Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on the podium. We thought we had a good plan and just needed a yellow at any point after Lap 31. Unfortunately it didn’t come and we fought for the fifth place finish. It isn’t exactly what we wanted to get out of the weekend but is still a good points day and gets us closer to the top.” After starting on the front row, Power was bumrushed on the get go and fell six spots on the start. He took over the lead in the early stages as he stayed out longer than everyone else before pitting on Lap 30. He was off sequence the rest of the day and never got the caution he needed. Speaking of cautions, there was only one on the day. It was brought out on the first lap when Oriol Servia and Graham Rahal made contact between Turns 7 and 8. Both drivers would resume but the race would never be stopped again after they went back green on Lap 6. Unfortunately, the winner of the season opener Hinchcliffe was caught up in that incident and suffered severe left rear damage. He stalled in Turn 3 and was towed off. The safety crew couldn’t tow him back until the next stoppage. Since that didn’t occur, he would wind up dead last in 26th place. “I wish I could have taken a nap, but these race cars are going around making all this noise. It’s really rude of them. (He stood up and stretched on Lap 75) Sitting in that one position. Normally you’re working in the car. (What happened with car?): “We got hit on Lap 1 and when we got the call for one to go (for the green flag) the wheel came off. I was hoping they were going to let us tow back and throw a new one on because nothing else was bent. But you dig yourself in a hole, qualify back there and these things happen. It’s a weekend to forget. We just have to come back stronger and get the GoDaddy car back on the podium.” The series heads to Long Beach in two weeks as everyone will now try and catch Castroneves. Today’s Finishing Order: 1.   1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 2.   9 Scott Dixon 3.    3 Helio Castroneves 4. 83 Charlie Kimball 5. 12 Will Power 6. 77 Simon Pagenaud 7. 25 Marco Andretti 8. 19 Justin Wilson 9. 67 Josef Newgarden 10. 55 Tristian Vautier R 11. 98 Alex Tagliani 12. 15 Graham Rahal 13.   7 Sebastien Bourdais 14.   5 E.J. Viso 15. 11 Tony Kanaan 16. 22 Oriol Servia 17. 14 Takuma Sato 18.   4 J.R. Hildebrand 19. 78 Simona de Silvestro 20.   2 A.J. Allmendinger 21.    6 Sebastian Saveedra 22. 20 Ed Carpenter -1 Lap 23. 16 James Jakes -4 Laps 24. 18 Ana Beatriz OUT 25. 10 Dario Franchitti OUT 26. 27 James Hinchcliffe OUT Follow Eric Smith on Twitter @ericsportsguru for All IndyCar News and Stories The post IndyCar: Ryan Hunter-Reay ends Penske’s stranglehold at Barber appeared first on Race Review Online.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Broncos hire Phillips as defensive coordinator

LeBron James misses Cavs-Blazers game due to wrist injury

Iceman: Thompson’s 37-point quarter doesn't break his record

Mayweather visited Pacquiao’s hotel room for private meeting

Seahawks GM: Russell Wilson's contract 'presents challenges'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

JR Smith: Lack of partying in Cleveland is better than NY

Tom Brady admits he has a cold

Paul Pierce: Computers to blame for lack of NBA trash talk

Darrelle Revis: I don’t feel sorry for Jets fans

A recent history of Super Bowl injury hullabaloo

DeflateGate football could fetch $50K at auction

Armstrong: I’d use PEDs again under same circumstances

Top five free agent quarterbacks

Report: NFL investigators to consult physicist on Deflategate

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Best prop bets about the Super Bowl broadcast

Ten worst teams to ever play in a Super Bowl

Marshawn's new stiff arm to media: You know why I'm here

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Keys to victory for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX

Keys to victory for the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX

Grandpa: Marshawn would retire rather than deal with media

Ten best teams that didn't make the Super Bowl

IndyCar News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Ten worst teams to ever play in a SB

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Patriots' keys to Super Bowl victory

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Putting the Cavs’ pieces together

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.