Hunter-Reay brushes wall in Belle Isle qualifying
DETROIT (AP) — Ryan Hunter-Reay will have to drive from the back of the field in his first race since winning the Indianapolis 500.
Hunter-Reay brushed the wall during Saturday morning qualifying for the first race of the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader. It happened on his second lap, and the American drove his damaged Andretti Autosport entry to pit lane, ending his qualifying attempt.
“Just pushing it in qualifying and the left rear snapped on me, and I just brushed the wall,” Hunter-Reay said. “Just no time to fix it.”
But Hunter-Reay was not concerned about his team repairing the rear suspension and getting him back on track and salvaging the weekend. IndyCar races Saturday and Sunday on Belle Isle, and Hunter-Reay goes into the doubleheader as the series points leader following his Indy 500 victory.
“There’s still plenty of time to gain a lot of points,” he said. “There’s still plenty of opportunity this weekend, we’ve just got to fix the suspension. Just one foot in front of the other. We’ve turned the page and on to Detroit and focus on the championship.”
Also in Hunter-Reay’s qualifying group, Simon Pagenaud was called for interference on Juan Pablo Montoya. It prevented Pagenaud from advancing and moved Montoya into the next group.
Pagenaud, winner of one of last year’s doubleheader races, and his team angrily disputed the penalty, to no avail.
“I don’t understand the call,” the Frenchman said.