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Hunter-Reay enjoys Milwaukee win with son

The SportsXchange

WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Ryan Hunter-Reay returned to victory lane at the Milwaukee Mile, this time as a father on Father's Day weekend.

The reigning IndyCar series champion -- whose son Ryden was born in December -- pulled away from the field in the late stages of Saturday's Milwaukee IndyFest to capture his second victory of the season.

Hunter-Reay also won at Barber Motorsports Park in April, but Ryden wasn't there that day.

"I felt bad because we didn't have the pictures of him in victory lane," he said.

This is the track where Hunter-Reay began his championship push last season, and victories followed at Iowa Speedway and on the streets of Toronto. He hopes to do the same this year, drawing 16 points behind series leader Helio Castroneves.

"When you can put everything together at this track, there's no better feeling in the world," Hunter-Reay said.

Hunter-Reay has now won three times at the historic track, the oldest facility in open-wheel racing.

Castroneves, who finished 4.9 seconds behind Hunter-Reay in second, has never won a series title.

Castroneves' teammate, Will Power of Team Penske, finished third. Hunter-Reay's Andretti Autosport teammates, EJ Viso and James Hinchcliffe, rounded out the top five.

The fourth Andretti driver, pole winner Marco Andretti, finished 20th after an electrical failure stalled his car on the backstretch on Lap 96.

Castroneves hung onto the championship lead by driving from 17th at the start. His only difficult moment came late in the race when he nearly collided with Power racing for second. Power had to go to the grass to avoid the Brazilian.

"I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize his points lead," Power said. "End of the race, he's leading the championship. It's racing."

Castroneves said he was struggling to find grip with the tires wearing out. He said he didn't mean to put Power, who caught him in traffic, in peril.

Power, a series runner-up each of the past three years, finished among the top three for the first time this season.

"It was a little late, but at the end we had one of the best cars out there," Power said.

A.J. Foyt Racing driver Takuma Sato had the lead when he drifted high in Turn 4 and nearly hit the wall. He recovered, kept the lead and then pitted, but the green-flag stop became costly when a yellow that followed allowed the other race contenders to pit under caution.

Still, Sato, who won the Long Beach race in April, was impressive. Power said Sato can drive a car looser than anyone in the series. Castroneves said Sato appeared close to crashing several times.

"I was just waiting for it to happen," Castroneves said.z

Power said, "The guy is phenomenal with his car control."

Sato finished seventh.

There were only four cautions in the race, none for crashes.

Simona De Silvestro's trouble with the Mile was extended. She spun in front of Graham Rahal in Turn 4, costing her several laps to the leader.

A difficult season for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing continued. Alex Tagliani spun in front of Bobby Rahal's two cars, and Graham Rahal ran into the back of teammate James Jakes under braking. Graham's car broke its front wing assembly; James had to pit, too.

Ana Beatriz brought out the fourth caution when her car ran through the dust exiting Turn 3 on Lap 214.
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