Hunter-Reay 'I'm not really sure what Newgarden was thinking'
The final lap of Sunday's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio contained major championship implications. In the final few corners, points leader Josef Newgarden made contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay. The contact sent the No.2 PPG Paints Chevrolet spinning into the gravel trap were it would remain stuck until the completion of the race.
Hunter-Reay was less than impressed with the move made by Newgarden, calling it baffling with what Newgarden has at stake.
"I'm not really sure what Josef (Newgarden) was thinking there doing that," Hunter-Reay said. "He tried to go around the outside, and the line through that corner is that you do a diamond and you come back to the apex, so he had to expect I was coming back at some point, and then just shoved his nose in there. I don't know, with the championship like that, leader, totally baffled me. I'm just glad it didn't cut down our right rear tire after fighting like that all day."
Before the contact Newgarden was running third and had a podium essenitally in the bag. Following the contact, Rossi was able to gain 13 points on Newgarden cutting the lead to 16 points heading into Pocono.
Post-race, there were no altercations between Hunter-Reay and Newgarden. Hunter-Reay voiced his opinion stating that if Newgarden wanted to come talk to him, he would have.
"Where I got out of my car was right there across from his pit when he got out of his" Hunter-Reay added. "I'm sure if he had an issue with it, he would have come and talked to me. I'm sure he would have probably liked that last lap back for sure."
Hunter-Reay is hopeful that his amazing run at Mid-Ohio will be the catalyst to turn around his less than stellar season in the No.28 DHL Honda. With momentum coming into Pocono, Hunter-Reay will be looking for a better finish after being involved in a crash last year.
"I feel like we're just back to where we really should be. We've had speed. You look at Road America, we had speed. We had speed at plenty of the races. We finished fourth and fifth at Detroit, just missed the podiums there" Hunter-Reay said. "We were just missing a little something. We definitely had it this weekend. We got it back. We qualified 10th. That put us in a pretty big hole to dig ourselves out of. But it's just little things.
"Right now as competitive as this series is, if you're missing a tenth and a half here or a tenth there, it's a big deficit," Hunter-Reay added. "If you're not executing 100 percent on strategy or approach or any of it, there's going to be somebody else who is. Yeah, we just missed a few, and it's nice to be back where we should be when we executed. That's what we did today."