Photo: Stephen A. Arce/ASP Inc.

Hunter-Reay Second, but Stymied in Detroit Race One

By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer

DETROIT –Ryan Hunter-Reay only finished 1.8249 seconds behind Chevrolet Dual in Detroit race one winner Scott Dixon, but he wasn’t entirely pleased with his Saturday effort on the streets of Belle Isle.

“Today we got hosed on qualifying,” said Hunter-Reay. “The officials completely checked out on the whole deal and that would’ve given us two extra spots on the grid, maybe that was enough to make the difference.

“You just can’t give up anything in this series; you can’t give up two feet, you can’t give up two tenths of a second and we had the speed to do it today, just had to come from too far back I guess.”

It’s believed that Hunter-Reay was possibly held up by another competitor in his group of qualifying and the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion had to start fifth with Robert Wickens ahead of him in third and Marco Andretti on the pole.

“We started fifth, qualified third in our group, should’ve qualified better than that, but yeah, we had the pace to win, just if I was in front and (Dixon) was second, he wouldn’t have gotten by me either so it’s just how it goes.”

Hunter-Reay used an attempted three stop strategy to move him from fifth place to second, but that strategy was made obsolete by a late full course yellow. Despite a pair of late restarts giving him opportunities, Hunter-Reay could do little but follow Dixon to the line. Behind the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner was Alexander Rossi, Andretti and Takuma Sato in fifth.

In seven races this year, Hunter-Reay has five top-five finishes. A pair of those are runner-up finishes at Barber Motorsports Park and at Detroit on Saturday, but victory lane has eluded the No. 28 DHL Honda. Hunter-Reay will have another shot at victory on Sunday when the second Dual in Detroit goes green at 3:50 p.m. ET with the broadcast starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.