News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 20, 2012

Red-hot Hunter-Reay goes for fourth straight at Edmonton

Tom Reck
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — Ryan Hunter-Reay goes for his fourth straight victory Sunday in IZOD IndyCar Series action in Canada.

The American driver for Andretti Autosport has a 34-point lead over Will Power in the championship point totals heading into the Edmonton Indy. NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) will carry the action, starting at 2 p.m.

Hunter-Reay has won at Iowa, Toronto and Milwaukee to assume the lead in points over Power, who earlier won three races in a row, with five races left on the schedule.

No driver has won four events in succession in IndyCar action since Sebastien Bourdais did it in the 2006 Champ Car season. Bourdais will be in the field for Sunday’s race.

“I don’t know if I would say I expected to be the points leader. I certainly expected to be contending for the championship. It’s just nice to see that this team is reaching its potential,” said Hunter-Reay.

He has finished seventh and fifth the past two years at Edmonton, while Power has won two of the past three races run at the 13-turn City Centre Airport course.

“I’m definitely honored to be carrying the American flag at the front right now. Every time I get on the podium, I raise it because I am proud of it,” said Hunter-Reay.

Team Penske driver Power talked about Sunday’s race and the championship race on a teleconference and what it takes to win.

“Most of the time, it is good qualifying, a very good strategy, just really good pit stops and not having something unforetold happen,” he said.

He thinks there will be good racing with the push-to-pass in effect.

“You have three good longs to pass. That is more than most tracks. I expect a good race,” said Power, who leads the road-street course point totals.

In addition to Hunter-Reay and himself, he sees Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe as the main contenders for the title.

“To win the championship, things just have to go your way. Week in, week out, you have to be knocking on the door … if you can’t win, you’ve got to get the most out of it,” said Power.