WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Ryan Hunter-Reay’s day at the Milwaukee Mile was symptomatic of his 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season: highest of highs, and lowest of lows.
The day began with a multi-year contract extension at Andretti Autosport for both him and sponsor DHL.
But in Sunday’s ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers, Hunter-Reay put in a charge to the front that ultimately came up snake eyes.
Hunter-Reay came from 19th on the grid to as high as fifth, courtesy of an excellent first stint. But after fading to 11th following his second stop, Hunter-Reay had an apparent right-rear suspension failure on the front straight at Lap 168.
He had a reported similar issue at Pocono earlier this year. At 64 points back of points leader Will Power, who was leading as of Lap 180, this will almost certainly take Hunter-Reay out of the championship battle.
“I could feel it running rough. It wasn’t a clean suspension break,” Hunter-Reay told NBCSN’s Marty Snider. “It was something with the right rear, CV joint popped out, it was undriveable. We had a great start. The yellow kind of got us. Wasn’t the balance I wanted. This is probably our championship hope, gone. It’s gonna be pretty hard from here. Just wasn’t meant to be.”
The day exacerbated a frustrating afternoon for Andretti Autosport; Carlos Munoz retired after contact on Lap 131 to become the first retirement of the race.