The current IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay got off to a nightmare start in the first race of the season at St Petersburg and had to watch from the sidelines as his Andretti Autosport team mate James Hinchcliffe went on to win. But the situation was reversed at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, with Hinchcliffe reduced to being a spectator as Hunter-Reay charged to victory.
We are pleased to be joined by the winner of today's race, Ryan Hunter-Reay. This is his best finish here. His previous best finish was 12th. This is his 10th career IndyCar victory.
Ryan, talk about today's race and additionally you started the season off with an 18th-place finish, talk about bouncing back with this win.
I felt like coming into Barber this was going to be the start of our season. We had a big hole to dig out of from St. Pete. We had a stuck throttle. We pulled a win. That's a new feat for us at Andretti Autosport.
The guys have done a great job in the off-season. Several times in the off-season I said our biggest weaknesses were the permanent road courses like Barber and Sonoma, and the big super speedways like Texas and Fontana.
The guys gave me a great car. I had more pressure today than anything bringing a car home that I knew was capable of winning. That was the biggest pressure.
The pressure Dixon put on in the end was close to that, though, I tell you what. This place is one of the most physical tracks you'll ever drive. Four Gs in the corners, that was an extremely tough race.
Not that there was ever any doubt that Andretti Autosport was back, but it shows to be able to come off of a championship season, win the first two races, what does that say for the organization, how dominant they've become at the moment?
It really shows that we're a threat every weekend. That's what we need to be to win championships, is be a threat every weekend. We showed that we were at St. Pete. We showed we are here at Barber. I have a good feeling we will be at Long Beach, Sao Paulo, and Indy, too.