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INDYCAR NEWS 

Hunter-Reay says he needs to step up and challenge for IndyCar title

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Sebring testing 2012Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay has admitted that he needs to step up and challenge for the IndyCar title this year after having spent the past two seasons working to get both himself and the team up to speed.

Hunter-Reay has finished seventh in the standings in each the two full seasons that he has spent with the Andretti squad. He is sixth in the points ahead of this weekend's race at Long Beach, where he won in 2010, and says that it is time to become a championship contender.

"It's number one on my list," he said. "That's what has to happen. This is my third year with the team. It's time to make that step.

"The first year, in 2010, we started out with a partial schedule. We went out and won Long Beach that year, which was a real shot in the arm for the team and our effort.

"2011 was another great season, but we just had some issues, whether it was me being overaggressive on the track, a mechanical failure at Long Beach which kept us from a win ... things just weren't clicking.

"We're going to try our best to make it all work this year. We all know we can do it. I feel absolute confidence within myself I can get it done. We just need to be consistent."

Hunter-Reay finished on the podium in the season-opener at St Petersburg last month, but could manage no better than 12th at the most recent round at Barber Motorsports Park.

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