Photo: Bret Kelley/INDYCAR

Heartbreak Finds Hunter-Reay Following Spirited Drive at Pocono

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

This one is going to sting a little for Ryan Hunter-Reay.

The 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion came from last on the grid all the way to the front, only to be undone by an electrical issue that relegated him to third at the finish line.

The 35-year-old American managed to come through the field and found the lead for 31 laps, and appearing to have a repeat of his 2015 success at Pocono Raceway when he found Victory Lane.

However, following a restart on lap 163 Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 DHL Honda slowed in front of the field and appeared to be done for the day until a trip to pit road helped him cycle to system and re-fire the car and get back on track, falling a lap down to the leader.

A caution shortly thereafter saw the field pit, which led to the Andretti Autosport staying out for the wave around and getting back on the lead lap, but would be forced to start from the back of the back.

The Andretti Autosport driver rallied once again and made quick work of the competition, but in the end both eventual race winner Will Power and runner-up Mikhail Aleshin were too far gone for any hopes at his first win for 2016.

“I had to come through the field twice and that is heart-breaking for us,” Hunter-Reay said. “This is the type of year it has been, really heart-breaking. The No. 28 DHL Honda really deserved to be in contention for the win there at the end. I was going through Turn 2 and (the car) just shut off. I (power) cycled the car once and nothing happened, then I came into the pits and power cycled it again – turned it off/on – and then it re-fired and we were a lap down.

“I had to come through the field twice, but the car was a rocket ship – it’s a shame.”

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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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