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Verizon IndyCar Series Race One Report: Grand Prix of Houston

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Verizon IndyCar Series
Race One Report: Grand Prix of Houston

The Grand Prix of Houston endured a shortened race today as Race One of the doubleheader weekend saw a downpour of rain which called for a timed event rather than a full 90-lap race. The race, which saw six caution periods, five different driver penalties and six lead changes, ended with all four Andretti Hondas inside the top eight. 
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James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda

 

  • Led a total of 32 laps, picking up an extra three points for not only leading, but leading the most laps of the race
  • Started and finished in the fifth position  

 

“Kind of the story of our year. Not unlike Detroit, we picked a strategy that we had to pick running out front like that. There’s no way you could predict this many yellows with the guys at the end running into each other. I just feel so bad for the United Fiber & Data guys, they were killer in the pits. The car was good in the rain, we were right on (Takuma) Sato’s gearbox coming into the pits and got ahead of him during the stops – we were controlling the race. All those restarts we were pulling away and it looked like it was ours to lose and then all of a sudden we come out from that last stop… the guys that took a risk, at first I honestly didn’t think they had a chance but the yellows that subsequently happened, they were able to do it. Saving grace though is we have a quick car, we have a chance to try again tomorrow and hopefully, hopefully, finally, one day, maybe the yellows will go our way.”

 

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Carlos Muñoz, No. 34 Cinsay Honda 

  • Started from last in P23 and finished third – making up 20 positions
  • Captured second podium of the season and third of his career
  • Moved up one spot in the championship to fifth (unofficial)

“This time was our day of luck; in Detroit we were not lucky with strategy. It seems like you have to start in the back to have a have the right race. Some guys that finish in the front, they started in the back. Another good strategy during the race even after I had to serve a drive-thru penalty and our front wing broke… I finished third, and what can I say, it’s good points for the championship. Now we have to focus on tomorrow, and I have to work to improve the qualifying for tomorrow’s race.”

 
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Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 DHL Honda
  • Started today’s race from the eighth position and ran as high as fourth
  • Recorded a seventh-place finish and remains third in points (unofficial)

“Unfortunately it just came down to strategy. We made a lot of headway with the DHL car there in the beginning under green. It came down to when you pit, whens the right time? That’s how the podium (finishers) got where they are. It was a weird day, kind of one of those street-course anomalies. We got a good balance read at the end of the day, so we’ll use that and move on to race two tomorrow.”

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Marco Andretti, No. 25 Snapple Honda

  • Started 16th and finished eighth
  • Drove his way back to seventh after falling victim to a black flag (drive-thru penalty) dropping him to the 23rd position

 

“We had to come back from a disaster and just hang in there. We were ahead of Carlos (Munoz) and then we should have pitted and instead we stayed out. If we would have went on Carlos’ strategy, I think we would have finished third. We’ll go through everything tonight and come back ready tomorrow.”

 

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