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.
It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”
But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.
Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.
Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:
- 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
- 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
- 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
- 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual Motorsports Special. Among segments included will be:
1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.
Check your local listings for replay times.