DETROIT – Ryan Hunter-Reay’s victory in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race created a wave in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings, and the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans will at least create a ripple.
“'It has been surreal, but there's a real sense of getting back to work this week and turning the page because there’s a lot at stake this week,” said Hunter-Reay, who’ll drive the No. 28 DHL car in the doubleheader (3:30 p.m. ET May 31 and June 1 on ABC). “With two races, there are as many points up for grabs in Detroit as there was at Indy.”
Well, almost. Each 70-lap race on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn temporary street course on Belle Isle is on a sliding scale from 50-10 points. There are bonus points of one for the Verizon P1 Award winner for each race, two points for leading the most laps and one point for leading a lap.
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Hunter-Reay amassed 126 points at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
23 -- Qualifications, which awarded points to all entries for the first time, for qualifying 19th.
100 – Winner, which is double for the three 500-mile races on the schedule (Indianapolis, Pocono Raceway, Auto Club Speedway).
1- Bonus point for leading a lap.
2 – Bonus points for leading the most laps.
Hunter-Reay entered the race one point behind Will Power (149-148) and collected his $2.49 million in prizes May 26 at the Victory Celebration with a healthy 274-234 point advantage over Power, who qualified third (36 points) and finished eight (48 points; 1 bonus point for leading lap).
Power’s teammate, Helio Castroneves, recorded 118 total points over the two weekends of qualifying/race and moved ahead of Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports into third in the standings (220-211).
Doubleheaders also are scheduled on street circuits in Houston and Toronto. Last year, the three weekend twinbills were big points producers for Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing en route to the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. He swept at Toronto, won the front end at Houston and placed in the top five in the other three races (83 points than any other driver).
Hunter-Reay isn’t content with an Indianapolis 500 victory and the 2012 series championship on his CV.
“No, we have to go out and get more. When you’re in a program that has an operating environment like we have at Andretti, especially in the 28 team that’s that good, you always feel like every time you’re in the car you should be quickest,” said Hunter-Reay, who has 10 of his 13 Indy car victories with Andretti Autosport. “Every time you’re in a race, you should be finishing on the podium. You’ve got to take advantage of that opportunity.
"I’ve been around so many times where it just didn’t click. With this team, it’s just all together and I’ve been saying it for years. It’s awesome to run with them. But I feel that pressure when I’m in the car because I’ve got to hold up my side of it as well.”
He’ll have two opportunities this weekend.