Title joy for Hunter-Reay
American grabs championship from Power at season finale
Last Updated: 16/09/12 10:24am
Ryan Hunter-Reay: First American to win IndyCar title since 2006
Ryan Hunter-Reay secured the IndyCar Series title after overhauling Will Power with a fourth place finish at the final round of the season in Fontana.
Power entered the race with a 17-point lead but the Australian hit the wall on the 56th lap and although he briefly made it back into the race, the Penske driver was eventually classified in 24th.
That left Hunter-Reay, who almost got caught up in Power's crash, needing fifth place or better to claim the title spoils.
And the American obliged, coming through the field after starting in 22nd to secure the championship by just three points from Power.
"It's a team effort right there,"Hunter-Reay told the IndyCar Series' official website.
"We were struggling all weekend. We were really in the woods. It hasn't sunk in yet. I just drove 500 miles like it was for my life. I can't believe we are IndyCar champions."
Hunter-Reay, who drives for Andretti Autosport, is the first American to win the IndyCar title since Sam Hornish in 2006, while his success marks the first time a driver from Chip Ganassi Racing has not taken the crown since Dario Franchitti in 2007.
The race victory went to Ed Carpenter, who claimed the second IndyCar win of his career after making a late move on outgoing champion Dario Franchitii.
Franchitti came across the line second ahead of Scott Dixon, with Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves completing the top five.