Ryan Hunter-Reay hasn't had the luckiest 2011, but after two podium finishes in his last three races, things may just be turning around for the Floridian."I'm just really happy to have a nice, solid weekend and a solid finish, finishing third," Hunter-Reay said after finishing behind Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. "The Andretti Autosport DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop guys did such a good job in the pits and gave me a great car."
Hunter-Reay has shown flashes of the success that helped him finish seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series this year, but he's hasn't had the finishes to match his qualifying success until he put together a complete race weekend. But it wasn't as easy as it looked as, like most drivers at Mid-Ohio, he struggled to find grip.
"It was definitely a struggle on these new Firestones," he said. "The new compound they brought certainly made it interesting. If that's what was intended, they did a good job of it, because, man, it was a handful the first five laps after a restart. It was like I was trying to crash every lap for five laps, six laps after the restart."
Even so, he was able to stay out of trouble that hit some of the other frontrunners at Mid-Ohio, and was in position to challenge Franchitti late in the event.
"Dario (Franchitti) and I were about on the same pace trying to catch Scott (Dixon) but Scott was just gone. He had a great pace. Dario, I was quicker than him through some of the quicker corners, like Turns 11 and 1, but he had me through every corner leading on to a passing zone. So I really never had a legitimate shot to take a lunge. But it was a good day – apart from the drink bottle not working in the car, which I think was part of my probation!"