Hunter-Reay wins at Barber again

The Sports NetworkApril 27, 2014 

Birmingham, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Hunter-Reay benefited from an early- race mistake by Will Power to win the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park for the second year in a row.

The start of Sunday's scheduled 90-lap IndyCar Series race at Barber was delayed for two-and-a-half hours due to severe thunderstorms that moved over this 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course earlier in the afternoon. The race started at 4:38 p.m. local time (5:38 p.m. ET). It was a time event of 1 hour, 40 minutes, trimming it to 69 laps.

Power started on the pole and dominated until lap 16 when he spun off the rain-soaked course and nearly made contact with the barrier. That allowed second-place runner Hunter-Reay to drive by Power for the lead. Hunter-Reay took command from there, as he led a race-high 40 laps.

The race ended under caution after rookie Mikhail Aleshin made contact with the tire barrier in turn 7 in the closing minutes. Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar champion, claimed his 12th career win in the series. He won last year's race at Barber after starting on the pole.

"That was such a blast today," Hunter-Reay said. "It's a bummer we ended under yellow [caution], because we were walking it. What a dream to drive a car like that in the [wet] conditions like that. It's awesome."

Hunter-Reay's teammate, Marco Andretti, crossed the line in second to give Andretti Autosport a 1-2 finish.

"Just an awesome job by Andretti Autosport," Andretti said. "I didn't have a radio, so the only way I knew when to pit, I saw out of the corner of my eye Ryan stop and thought, 'I guess I'm coming in the next lap.' It was definitely a blind race, but I just had my head down and tried to hit my marks."

Scott Dixon, the defending series champion, placed third in this event after finishing in the runner-up spot in each of the first four IndyCar races at Barber from 2010-13.

Simon Pagenaud took the fourth spot, while Power faded late in the race to finish fifth.

"I just locked up," Power said of his incident early in the race. "That's alright though. We had a big enough lead to lose only one position. I missed that wall. I thought I was going to hit that wall there. I missed it by an inch, I reckon."

Justin Wilson, James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball completed the top-10.

Power remained the leader in the championship standings. He holds an 18-point advantage over new second-place Hunter-Reay. Power began the season by winning in St. Petersburg, Fla. last month and then finishing second in Long Beach, Calif. two weeks ago.

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