Hunter-Reay frustrated by Dixon "hip-check" in IndyCar Mid-Ohio race

Ryan Hunter-Reay was left frustrated at what he feels were missed opportunities in the IndyCar Mid-Ohio double-header thanks to pitstop strategy and questionable track ethics from Scott Dixon

Hunter-Reay frustrated by Dixon "hip-check" in IndyCar Mid-Ohio race

The 2012 IndyCar champion started Saturday's first race from the front row, but was demoted to third at the start by Team Penske's Josef Newgarden.

Hunter-Reay was relegated to fifth at the final pit stops, when he was beaten by team-mate Alexander Rossi who had stopped a lap earlier, and by Graham Rahal who stopped two laps later.

In the second race, Hunter-Reay attempted to pass Dixon's Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda around the outside at Turn 4 on lap 20, for what would have been second place once the off-strategy cars had pitted.

Instead, Hunter-Reay found himself knocked toward the grass on the outside of the turn, and the subsequent loss of momentum allowed Rossi to slip through into second.

Facing an evenly-matched car and similar tyre strategy for the remainder of the 75-lap race, Hunter-Reay could find no gap in Rossi's armour and finished third, and 2.5s behind winner Colton Herta.

"It's a good day for Andretti Autosport, finishing 1-2-3," said Hunter-Reay whose last win came at Sonoma in 2018.

"It's been a pretty rocky season for the team overall, so it was nice to get that in.

"For me, just missed opportunities kind of all weekend... We had good pace, just feel like we could have finished up a few more spots every day.

"But all in all, I ran a good race today. I was running hard with Dixon there, got hip-checked off the track.

"That's when Rossi got by me, and we finished in line from there."

He said the frustration started in qualifying on Saturday, when being fastest in the only practice session gave him the choice of his qualifying group running first or second.

Assuming the track would be faster as more rubber went down, Hunter-Reay decided his group would run second, but Will Power's time for Group 1 actually proved faster.

The groups then swapped order for Sunday's morning's qualifying session, which meant Hunter-Reay's group went out first and therefore got the worst of the wet-but-drying track, and leaving him only eighth on the grid while Herta took pole.

"I think we were actually really good in qualifying this weekend," Hunter-Reay said.

"The #28 has been the highest qualifying car of the year so far.

"It's just we haven't been able to put it together for one reason or another.

"But being fastest in practice Saturday morning, we picked our group, and it ended up being the wrong pick.

"Obviously that [also] dictated pole today, being that the group that was on pole was Colton's group, on a drying racetrack.

"[It was] just the wrong call, we couldn't foresee that coming.

"On these shortened double race weekends, [we miss] the extended practice time we would usually have to get ready for qualifying, and it all comes down to that at some of these tracks where it's very track position related."

shares
comments
Herta: IndyCar Mid-Ohio win came despite wrong tyre strategy

Previous article

Herta: IndyCar Mid-Ohio win came despite wrong tyre strategy

Next article

Bourdais says he has set no targets for IndyCar return with AJ Foyt Racing

Bourdais says he has set no targets for IndyCar return with AJ Foyt Racing
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Dixon , Ryan Hunter-Reay
Author David Malsher
How Herta's aversion to complacency spells bad news for his IndyCar rivals Plus

How Herta's aversion to complacency spells bad news for his IndyCar rivals

Colton Herta's dominant IndyCar win on the streets of St. Petersburg confirmed what rivals have long-suspected - that the second-generation racer is destined for stardom. But it was Herta's comments afterwards that gave perhaps the most interesting insight into a driver that will be around for a long time to come

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival? Plus

How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? DAVID MALSHER-LOPEZ investigates Palou's potential

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans? Plus

Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans?

IndyCar's gold standard teams Ganassi and Penske are set for another slugfest beginning this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. A poor start to the first season with the new aeroscreen left Josef Newgarden with too much ground to make up on Scott Dixon in the title chase, but his strong end to 2020 suggests a battle royale lies ahead...

IndyCar
Apr 16, 2021
The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021 Plus

The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021

From rookies arriving with big reputations to veterans who still have the fire and an F1-linked squad pushing to join the big leagues, IndyCar has it all this year. Here are six of the key storylines to keep track of

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021