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Local Sports

2014 Indy 500 winner goes after Iowa win

Winning the 2014 Indianoplis 500 was his dream come true for Ryan Hunter-Reay. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native also has a special place in his heart for Iowa Speedway.

“Winning at Iowa in 2012 helped us win the IndyCar Series championship,” Hunter-Reay said. “I love the short track and the way it is banked. It is some of the best racing of the season for the series.”

Hunter-Reay and his Andretti Autosport teammates have had tremendous fortune on the Newton track. Andretti Autosport drivers have won the last four IndyCar Series races at Iowa Speedway..

Hunter-Reay and the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers hit the Iowa track today for practice runs and qualiying. The 2014 Iowa Corn Indy 300 is Saturday at 7:45 p.m.

“The win in 2012 was a big part of the championship run. I made a late pass to get past Scott Dixon to win at Iowa,” Hunter-Reay said.

Hunter-Reay gives a lot of credit to his success the past five years in the IndyCar Series to his racing team. The continuity of having the same team has been a boost, he said.

Hunter-Reay has finished in the top 10 at Iowa five of the six years he has raced here. He finished 12th last year.

He said after winning the Indy 500 in May, things have not gone as well on the tracks.

“They gave me a great car in the Indy 500 and we had a great run there. We have some bad luck of late,” Hunter-Reay said. “We just have to focus and get back to racing well.”

Hunter-Reay said he loves the speed side of IndyCar racing. It’s pure performance, he said.

“Here at Iowa, we’re going so much faster because it is a short track. I love it. There is no down time in the car. This track creates some of the best racing and we’re looking forward to get back here,” he said.

Hunter-Reay earned the Best Driver ESPY in 2013 after claiming his first Verizon IndyCar Series title in a dramatic 2012 season finale. He is nominated again for the ESPY award in 2014.

Hunter-Reay became the first American driver to win the Indy 500 since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006.

“I’ve been blessed with great support from my family and my racing team,” Hunter-Reay said.

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