Skip to content

Hunter-Reay: “We’re going to put on a great show at Pocono”

Jul 4, 2014, 11:29 AM EDT

Ryan Hunter-Reay AP

Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay has praised Pocono Raceway and says the Verizon IndyCar Series will put on a fantastic show this weekend (Sunday, noon ET, NBCSN).

It potentially could be the last one, based on a report from the Associated Press released Thursday that track president Brandon Igdalsky is concerned about a severe drop in projected ticket sales. The track is on a three-year contract to host the series; this is year two of that contract.

But considering the show Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and the rest of the field put on at Indy, that ticket drop really shouldn’t be happening.

“I’ve said it in the past: Pocono is a racetrack that fits IndyCar racing and its current spec, fits it to a T,” Hunter-Reay said during this week’s IndyCar conference call. “We’re going to put on a great show there.”

He also praised the market, which in Pennsylvania is key to the Northeast and one of the few remaining IndyCar races in this region.

“The added bonus is we’re in the right market,” Hunter-Reay said. “We need to be putting on our races there, IndyCar does. Pocono, it was a major part of the schedule back in the day, and it seems to be that now it is again.

“So hopefully the fans will receive us well there. If we keep on putting on great shows, there’s no reason it can’t work. I think this one’s going to be a 500-mile race that will come down to the wire just like Indy did.”

Winning at Indy was one thing, but delivering again for the second double points 500-mile race is another challenge entirely.

“Pocono is a completely different animal than Indianapolis. They’re both very long, and that’s about all they have in common,” Hunter-Reay said. “The two tracks require different setups. They drive differently.

“The dirty air has a certain effect on the car in turn three. It makes it hard to follow; makes it hard to set up passes. You really have to work on your racecar. You have to make it actually balance well in turn one and turn three, which is a difficult thing to do.

“To set up passes is an entirely different exercise at Pocono than it is at Indy. You’ve got to focus on different parts of the track than you would at Indianapolis, and that means a different car. It’s also a different tire, different tire compound from Firestone.

“There are many aspects and variables that go into it that make it a different beast than Indianapolis.”

Hunter-Reay seeks to rebound after contact with Takuma Sato in the pit lane last year took both drivers out of contention.

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH LIVE: Monaco GP Race Day on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am, NBC from 7:30am

    May 24, 2015, 6:45 AM EDT

    © Getty Images Getty Images

    Lewis Hamilton goes in search of his second Monaco win on Sunday, but can Nico Rosberg stop him and claim a hat-trick of victories around the streets of the principality?

  2. Ecclestone: Rosberg and Vettel poor for F1 business

    May 24, 2015, 6:15 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Germany Getty Images

    The F1 supremo explains how Lewis Hamilton’s love of the limelight and fame is doing wonders for the sport.

  3. 2015 Indy 500 driver-by-driver one-liners

    May 24, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    The original field of 33 for Sunday's 99th Indianapolis 500. Photo: INDYCAR The original field of 33 for Sunday's 99th Indianapolis 500. Photo: INDYCAR

    MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno analyzes the chances of each of the 33 drivers for this year’s Indianapolis 500.

  4. MRTI: Tan, Eidson win Saturday at Lucas Oil Raceway

    May 24, 2015, 5:08 AM EDT

    Tan leading in Pro Mazda. Photo: IMS Photography, LLC Tan leading in Pro Mazda. Photo: IMS Photography, LLC

    Weiron Tan and Jake Eidson are winners Saturday at the artist/track formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park.

  5. Tony Kanaan isn’t counting, but Indianapolis 500 milestone means much

    May 23, 2015, 6:04 PM EDT

    Tony Kanaan Tony Kanaan

    Chip Ganassi Racing driver will make his 300th career start Sunday.

  6. GP2: Richie Stanaway and Status secure maiden victory

    May 23, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    © GP2 Series © GP2 Series

    After taking the lead at the start, Stanaway goes wire-to-wire to take his first GP2 win in Monaco.

  7. Alonso: McLaren “too fragile at the moment”

    May 23, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 23:  Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren Honda drives during final practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Spaniard suffers another issue on his car during qualifying on Saturday, leaving him P15 on the grid before penalties.

  8. Formula E: Di Grassi disqualified, handing win to Jerome d’Ambrosio

    May 23, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Jerome D`Ambrosio (L-R) of Team Dragon Racing, Lucas Di Grassi of Team Audi Sport Abt and Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi of team edams-Renault pose during the victory ceremony after the 2015 Fia Formula E Berlin championships in Berlin May 23, 2015. Di Grassi won, D`Ambrosio placed second and Buemi placed third.  AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ        (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The Audi Sport ABT driver delivers a crushing win in Berlin at the disused Tempelhof airport, only to then be disqualified in the hours following the race.

  9. WATCH LIVE: Eli Tomac defends Lucas Oil Pro Motocross points lead at Glen Helen

    May 23, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Photo: George Crosland/ProMotocross.com Photo: George Crosland/ProMotocross.com

    Live coverage from Glen Helen starts with the pre-race show at 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra and continues with first motos at 5 p.m. ET. Second motos will be live on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET.

  10. Ricciardo frustrated to only qualify fourth in Monaco

    May 23, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo  during the qualifying session at the Monaco street circuit in Monte-Carlo on May 23, 2015, ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Red Bull driver matches his best qualifying result of the season, but feels a top three grid slot was within reach.

  11. “Karamo” aside, Sage Karam looks for big things in second Indy 500

    May 23, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    A pink Camaro, a Justin Bieber reference and an improved maturity level: all in the second month of May for Chip Ganassi’s rising star, Sage Karam.

  12. Grosjean to face five place grid penalty in Monaco

    May 23, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Lotus F1 Team's French driver  Romain Grosjean  drives during the third practice session at the Monaco street circuit in Monte-Carlo on May 23, 2015, ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET        (Photo credit should read JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Lotus driver will start tomorrow’s race from 15th place on the grid.

  13. Will young guns buck veteran-dominated trend in Indy 500?

    May 23, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    WillJPMHelio Getty Images

    While the likelihood is of a veteran triumph, can one of IndyCar’s relative “next generation” break through in the Indianapolis 500?

  14. Vettel: Fight for pole impossible after fall in temperature

    May 23, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    xxxx during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    Ferrari driver explains how the fall in temperature ahead of qualifying meant Ferrari could not challenge Mercedes in Monaco.

  15. Carlos Sainz Jr to start Monaco GP from pit lane

    May 23, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    xxxx during final practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    Toro Rosso driver dropped to the back of the grid after failing to complete a weight check during qualifying on Saturday.

  16. Williams drivers hopeful of points in spite of poor Monaco GP qualifying

    May 23, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 21:  Felipe Massa of Brazil and Williams drives during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 21, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas limped to their worst qualifying results of the season in Monaco.

  17. Will Power: “It’s the first time I feel I have a shot at winning” Indianapolis 500

    May 23, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT

    Indianapolis 500 - Coors Light Carb Day Getty Images

    Team Penske credits an oval-whelming improvement during his 2014 championship season.

  18. Lack of rhythm costs Rosberg in battle for pole in Monaco

    May 23, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg  drives during the third practice session at the Monaco street circuit in Monte-Carlo on May 23, 2015, ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Rosberg falls short in his bid for a third successive Monaco GP pole position.