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June 16, 2013

Hunter-Reay wins, extends Andretti streak at Milwaukee

Driver repeats to give Andretti fifth win in nine tries at track.

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) — Ryan Hunter-Reay continued Andretti Autosport’s domination at the Milwaukee Mile, winning the IndyCar event Saturday for the second year in a row.

Hunter-Reay became the first driver to win back-to-back races at the Mile since Tony Kanaan in 2006 and 2007 when he was driving for — you guessed it, Andretti.

Andretti drivers have won five of the last nine races at the mile oval and nearly had a perfect day Saturday in a race that is promoted by Michael Andretti’s marketing company. Hunter-Reay got the win, E.J. Viso finished fourth and James Hinchcliffe was fifth.

The only blemish was pole-sitter Marco Andretti, who led the first 62 laps before his day fell apart with a mechanical issue.

For Hunter-Reay, it was the second win of the season for the defending IndyCar Series champion. This one came at the site of the track he used to jumpstart last year’s title run — Hunter-Reay reeled off three consecutive wins starting with Milwaukee last season to climb into the championship race.

This year, though, he got to celebrate an early Father’s Day gift with son, Ryden.

“Those last few laps I was thinking, ‘Man, I’ve got to do this for him,’ “ Hunter-Reay said. “It’s so special, he’s 6-months-old, getting to have my little guy here in Victory Lane is the best Father’s Day gift.”

IndyCar Series points leader Helio Castroneves was second and followed by Penske Racing teammate Will Power as Chevrolet swept the podium. It was the first podium finish this season for Power, who hasn’t won a race since Brazil last year.

He made a bold attempt to pass Castroneves for second in the closing laps before cautiously backing off a touch. Power said after the race he had to consider the big picture and that his teammate is the current points leader while racing for position.

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