LEXINGTON, OH – The 2019 season has been feast or famine for Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay. Through the first nine races, Hunter-Reay scored seven top eight finishes in his No. 28 Honda. But, over the last three races, he’s struggled mightily.
The American finished 11th in Road America, 16th in Toronto and 17th last weekend in Iowa. Now, can he reverse that trend in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200?
I think so actually.
Ryan Hunter-Reay practices his No. 28 Honda at the Iowa Speedway last weekend – INDYCAR Media Site
First off, it’s not like the past races have been strong tracks for Hunter-Reay. In Toronto, Hunter-Reay has one top 10 finishes in his last nine starts. In Iowa, his advantage that he once had is long gone thanks to the patches on the racing surface. Since his second straight win at Iowa in 2015, he’s finished 22nd, 3rd, 19th and now 17th respectively.
Second off, Mid-Ohio is a good track for him. He has two consecutive top 10 finishes to go along with five in his last seven tries.
“Mid-Ohio is certainly one of my favorite racetracks on the INDYCAR calendar with a passionate fanbase,” said Hunter-Reay. “We’ve been on the podium here in the past, but have yet to find that top step for the DHL team. We’re focused on a strong weekend all around, and when it comes to race day, we have to execute.”
This weekend, Hunter-Reay was sixth, fifth and eighth respectively in practice too. He rolls off 10th.
“After (Practice 1), we knew we needed some speed, so we threw some setup changes at it,” Hunter-Reay said following qualifying. “I think the car was pretty decent. We advanced on to the top 12 and then got too aggressive with the front of the car and missed the (Firestone) Fast Six. We just came up a bit shy today, but still inside the top 10 and we’ll do our best to turn that into a fight for the DHL team.”
This could be the place he needs to turn this season around for the good.