Ryan Hunter-Reay won the MoveThatBock.com INDY 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway today, after rain shortened the controversial race by five laps.
Behind the wheel of his No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car for Andretti Autosport, Hunter-Reay led 71 laps on his way to his first IZOD IndyCar Series race in 2011.
“Short track racing tends to be a little crazier than most, things get heated because you are (running) closer than most,” said Hunter-Reay. “After three beautiful days, we knew the weather was coming. We figured we would (just) race to half way.”
Spain’s Oriol Servia, who had a strong weekend for Newman Haas Racing, finished second but felt he should have been declared the winner after a controversial late-race restart.
“I think it was an outstanding weekend for Newsman Haas, we were probably the most consistent team out there,” said Servia. “It just feels bad when it's close, especially how it ended. If there wasn’t a crash they would not have reversed the order, I was ahead.”
Hunter-Reay also had an opinion on the controversial late-race restart.
“I think we should never have had a restart. Race control was desperate to have a restart for TV and for the fans here. They (fans) deserve it, but when it is raining, you just can't do it. Our car was just so good in traffic. I just wish it went to green at the end so I’m not here explaining what race control was thinking at the end.”
Weather wasn’t the only factor triggering controversy. Series point’s leader Dario Franchitti dominated the entire weekend leading 115 of 123 laps before contact with Takuma Sato ended his race. Sato later apologized for his mistake.
“The car was a handful, but a fast handful,” said Franchitti. “I was able to pull out and pass cars. I think at one point I was 11 seconds ahead. To have a car that dominant and be taken out in a straight line is uncalled for, but that’s racing.”
Despite the wild finish Hunter-Reay praised the challenging oval.
“This track is a lot of fun, if I had it my way we would be coming back here for many years to come,” he said. “I really enjoy the short ovals, it’s more like a road course and it’s tough to get it right.”