INDIANAPOLIS – Ryan Hunter-Reay is quietly having a solid 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. If not for bad luck, he’d likely be heading to the Duels in Detroit battling for the points lead. Leaving Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, Hunter-Reay sits fifth in the points standings after scoring his fourth top five finish of the year. The Andretti Autosport driver charged hard from his 14th starting spot on a hot and slick Sunday afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and leaves generally happy.
See, Hunter-Reay quickly went from 14th to the top 10 by time he hit pit road for his first pit stop, but other than restarts, he struggled to make up any ground on the 2.5-mile track. The talented American said that his car was really good when running in traffic, but when the field go strung out, he struggled to close any kind of gap.
“It was a good race all day,” Hunter-Reay said after scoring his 56th career top five finish. “When we were all mixed up in traffic, the No. 28 car was really strong, but once it started stringing out, we just didn’t have it. We really fought hard, but we just didn’t have the speed in the end.”
Hunter-Reay said that the biggest issue with the overall day was lapped traffic. He even called out a couple of drivers too.
“The bigger problem was the lapped traffic,” Hunter-Reay continued. “We really had a good race car until we had to deal with guys that were doing 200 mph out there, like Jay Howard. Then (Zach Claman De Melo) came out right at the end in the mix of the top five – I don’t know what teams were thinking. The DHL boys did a great job today, just a little bit too short at the end. But, congrats to Will Power, he definitely has a well-rounded career now.”
Think about this, if not for bad luck in Long Beach and the INDYCAR Grand Prix, Hunter-Reay could have had a top five in every race this season. Then, in some of those top fives, they could have easily been podiums.