BIRMINGHAM, AL - The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama green flag waved 2 hours, 30 minutes late, but for Ryan Hunter-Reay it was well worth the wait.
Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 DHL car, led Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti across the finish line under caution to win at Barber Motorsports Park for the second-straight season. A severe thunderstorm forced the race into a delayed start with a 100-minute time limit.
"I've been anxious (to compete) since we left Long Beach," said Hunter-Reay, who started from the pole in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 13 but was involved in a multi-car incident on lap 56 of 80 that dropped him to the rear of the field. "With the rain and the wet conditions on how we started out there, it was tough. Then we went to the Firestone reds, and man - on a wet surface that was just really tough to keep the car on track. Once we got out front though, we started checking out and it was a dream to drive the DHL car.
"(Long Beach) should have been a great result, but we got it today."
It was the 12th IndyCar victory for Hunter-Reay, who moved 18 points behind championship leader Will Power heading into the inaugural May 10 Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the reconfigured road course. Hunter-Reay capitalized on a lap 16 mistake by Power, the pole sitter, whose No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car slid off the wet road course in turn 5. Power, also a two-time winner at Barber, quickly recovered but was 4.0830 seconds behind at the completion of the lap.
Marco Andretti, who started ninth in the No. 25 Snapple car, went almost the entire distance without radio communication with his pit crew. He overtook Power for second on the lap 34 restart and held off repeated challenges by reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon.
Dixon, the runner-up in each of the previous four races finished third ahead of Simon Pagenaud and Will Power. Power and Pagenaud are the only two drivers with top five finishes in every race.
Verizon IndyCar Series
Barber Motorsports Park - Birmingham, AL
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama - April 27, 2014
1. (3) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
2. (9) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
3. (5) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running
4. (10) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
5. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running
6. (16) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
7. (2) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
8. (4) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
9. (23) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running
10. (17) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running
11. (20) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running
12. (22) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
13. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
14. (21) Mike Conway, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running
15. (12) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running
16. (15) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
17. (18) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running
18. (13) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running
19. (6) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running
20. (19) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 68, Running
21. (8) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 68, Running
22. (11) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 63, Contact
23. (7) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 29, Mechanical
Winners average speed: 94.537
Time of Race: 01:40:43.3337
Margin of victory: Under Caution
Lead changes: 7 among 6 drivers
Power 1 - 15
Hunter-Reay 16 - 22
Saavedra 23 - 33
Hunter-Reay 34 - 48
Hunter-Reay 52 - 69
Point Standings: Power 125, Hunter-Reay 107, Pagenaud 92, Dixon 87, Conway 82, Andretti 73, Wilson 67, Castroneves 66, Kanaan 62, Newgarden 58.