IndyCar - Andretti Autosport Race Preview Edmonton
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL / Dr Pepper Chevrolet, No. 28
Indianapolis, Jul. 17, 2012: Hunter-Reay leads the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings by 34 points with five races remaining. He has swept into the lead on the strength of three consecutive victories. Hunter-Reay is the second Andretti Autosport driver to win three straight, matching the feat of the late Dan Wheldon, who scored a triple on his way the the 2005 IndyCar championship. Hunter-Reay is attempting to become the first American-born IndyCar champ since Sam Hornish in 2006.
"Now that it's been a few days for it to sink in, it's really starting to hit me what an accomplishment this is for the team. It seems surreal to say we've won three in a row, yet, at the same time, it's not something that seems unrealistic. I've always thought this was possible with the right team chemistry. I can't say enough about the guys on the No. 28 team. It's all about the Andretti Autosport organization as a whole for sure, but I'm really close to the guys on the DHL/Sun Drop team. They've been the key to winning these races, in the preparation of the car and working together during the race with the right strategy, making the right set-up changes, and executing flawless pit stops."It's been the best run of my career, but it's not something that's happened by accident. I'm just like a lot of people who reach their own American dream through hard work. It took a lot of persistence and perseverance to get to this point. Credit has to go to Michael Andretti, who hired me three years ago and told me he was going to bring this team back to its championship form. Having been here at Andretti Autosport since 2010, it really feels like a family. We all know each other and get along really well. It's the kind of thing that can only happen over time, and I'm feeling that kind of connection for the first time in my career. The lows that I've been through in my career, like being relegated to driving a show car in 2005 and then not being able to find a ride at all for the 2006 season, make the highs that much better. Those disappointments have only made me stronger and hungrier now that I've found a home."
Did You Know: What's next? Hunter-Reay can match Sebastien Bourdais, who is the most recent winner of four straight Indy car races. Bourdais opened the 2006 Champ Car season with a quartet of wins.
Marco Andretti, Team Dr Pepper Chevrolet, No. 26
For the second consecutive race, Marco Andretti's No. 26 Chevy will carry the predominantly maroon Dr Pepper colors instead of his usual red, white and blue RC Cola theme.
"We need a good result this weekend. It would be great to do well with the Dr Pepper colors, and for all of our fans. We have five races left, and there's no reason we can't be at the front. We've been working hard to find a street course set-up that is a good fit with my driving style, and I think once we do, we'll be quick. We'll keep pushing and fight for every spot we can grab."
Did You Know: With fives races remaining in the 2012 season, Marco is only 30 points out of ninth place in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings. An IndyCar driver can score up to 53 points at each event.
James Hinchcliffe, Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, No. 27
Hinchcliffe heads into the Edmonton Indy ranked fifth in the IZOD IndyCar Series points standings. He finished 15th at the 2.256-mile road course in 2011.
"Toronto definitely didn't go quite as planned, but these things happen. We'll pick up and move forward and keep working hard with the Go Daddy Chevy. For me, racing in Edmonton is just as special as racing in Toronto in a lot of ways because the Canadian fans just give you such a buzz and so much support. The track in Edmonton is kind of unique, but the long straights and hairpins make braking and acceleration key. The team is on a bit of a streak at the moment so hopefully we can keep it up!"