Hunter-Reay Takes Win at Milwaukee IndyFest presented by XYQPress Release
WEST ALLIS, Wis. - Ryan Hunter-Reay passed Helio Castroneves for the lead with 84 laps to go and held on to win the Milwaukee IndyFest at the famed Milwaukee Mile.
Hunter-Reay, who started second, led Tony Kanaan across the start-finish line by 5.1029 seconds.
James Hinchcliffe was third and Oriol Servia jumped from the 20th starting position to finish fourth. E.J. Viso, who led his first laps since June 2011 at Texas, finished fifth (his first top five since Iowa in 2010).
After the race, INDYCAR officials acknowledged an error led to a drive through penalty against Scott Dixon, who had moved from 21st position into the top-10 before the call.
“Due to a glitch in technology, there was a discrepancy between the official race clock and the clock on the replay machine,” INDYCAR President of Competition and IZOD IndyCar Series race director Beaux Barfield said. “Therefore the review of the jumped start was one lap off, leading Race Control to make the call on the wrong lap. We have informed the Ganassi team of this error and Race Control is taking every step necessary to address it going forward. The Race Control team will be meeting first thing Monday morning to review the issue and explore remedies in advance of the race at Iowa.”
Will Power, who finished 12th, retained the IZOD IndyCar Series championship lead. Hinchcliffe moved into second (31 points back). Chevrolet-powered cars swept the podium.
DAY 2 NOTEBOOK:
11:51 a.m. – Rain began falling over The Milwaukee Mile. The start of today’s pre-race ceremonies and Milwaukee IndyFest is on a weather hold.
12:37 p.m. – Track drying process is under way.
Ed Carpenter Racing made its eighth consecutive start with one chassis (the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car).
The team’s second chassis (scheduled for oval races) crashed during Pole Day qualifications at Indianapolis and is being repaired at its Indianapolis shop. The team had to prepare it road course chassis (with four races already run) overnight at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to qualifying May 20.
So the road course chassis has been in superspeedway trim, road/street course setting at Belle Isle, speedway platform at Texas and the short oval package at Milwaukee. The car will be used through the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway next week.
John Marcum, CEO and founder of XYQ, will serve as the honorary starter, while Michael Andretti will give the command to start engines.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett read a proclamation declaring “Saturday is officially Milwaukee IndyFest Day.”
In honor of Father’s Day, seven fathers competed in the race: Rubens Barrichello, Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato and Justin Wilson.
1:53 p.m. – Drivers to Your Cars
1:59 p.m. – Command to start engines
2:02 p.m. – Green Flag (3rd Time By)
Michael Andretti drew the loudest spontaneous applause from soggy spectators at the Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by XYQ when he announced that the IZOD IndyCar Series will be back at the Milwaukee Mile in 2013.
Tickets for the race — scheduled for June 14-15 — go on sale Sunday. Reserved ticket-holders may renew their seats before July 16 at http://www.MilwaukeeIndyFest.com. Tickets will also be available June 18 at the Wisconsin State Fair box office, and by phone at 414-266-7100.
Andretti Sports Marketing announced Feb. 10 that it was assuming promotion of troubled event at the facility on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair Park, which has played host to Indy car racing since 1933. Tickets went on sale March 1.
“We weren’t kidding ourselves; we knew this wasn’t something that was going to change overnight,” said Andretti, CEO of Andretti Sports Marketing and Andretti Autosport. “We felt like if we did a really good event this year and displayed it well that the skeptics are going to be the ones who hear how great the event was and we’ll get them to come the next year. Year 2 should be bigger, hopefully, that Year 1. This is a building year.”
Andretti Sports Marketing took a different approach to an oval event by incorporating a festival atmosphere with concerts, a family fun zone, Ferris wheel and the INDYCAR Fan Village in the infield. It appeared to be a hit.
“There was a huge crowd this morning and long lines coming in,” Andretti said. “We heard this was a late (ticket-buying) crowd and I can understand. They want to see proof, and I think all the buzz that’s been going around the past week with the block party, the autograph sessions and the drivers in the community has brought people out (race) morning.
“(Similarly) the sponsors, some of whom got burnt in the past, wanted to see how well this event came off. I expect a lot more corporate interest for next year.”
Taking over the Milwaukee event included an element of sentiment. Michael Andretti won nine times at the track, and the 1991 race featured an all-Andretti podium: Michael, cousin John and father Mario.
“It means a lot to our family,” Michael Andretti said.
Andretti Sports Marketing, which was started in 2011, also took over promotion of the IZOD IndyCar Series event on the temporary street circuit in Baltimore, which will be held Labor Day weekend. For tickets and event information, go to http://www.RaceOnBaltimore.com.
“We have the experience of the past (as Andretti Green Promotions) with the two races we promoted, but operationally this race has gone so smoothly it’s scary. For our first time back (as a promoter) it’s been great,” Michael Andretti said.
MILWAUKEE INDYFEST PRESENTED BY XYQ RACE SPECIFICS:
•The race is 225 laps, 225 miles on 1-mile oval.
•The pit road speed limit is 60 mph.
•The green flag to start the race will be shown the third time by the start-finish line.
•Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, a resident of Fort Worth, Texas, will drive the Honda Civic SI Safety Car.
•There will be no tow-ins or returns from the garage within the final 20 laps of the race.
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