Ryan Hunter-Reay coasted to his second straight victory at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., when the rain-shortened IndyCar race finished under caution.
A full-course caution came out for the final seven minutes of the timed race after rookie Mikhail Aleshin lost control and went off the track. That left Hunter-Reay unchallenged, with Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti finishing second.
Scott Dixon was third, followed by Simon Pagenaud and pole-sitter Will Power, a two-time winner at Barber who was among the drivers dealing with a slippery track in spots.
“He was out there cutting the grass,” Hunter-Reay said. “I had to take advantage of that. It was so easy to do that today. I almost lost this race three times.”
There was some slipping and sliding after the field switched from the wet tires with several drivers leaving the track.
“That was horrible for everybody,” Hunter-Reay said. “It was like an ice-skating rink.”
He passed Power on lap 18 when the Australian left the track and skirted by the tire barrier before pulling back onto the track.
It's the 12th career win for Hunter-Reay, who was alone up front during the caution until Andretti pulled even at the finish line to savor the moment with his teammate.
“They've given us great cars here, and second win in a row for Ryan is awesome,” said Andretti, whose radio worked only sporadically down the stretch.
Dixon said running a time race was “annoying” and Andretti said it removed some strategy from the formula.
Erica Enders-Stevens raced to her second Pro Stock victory of the season in the NHRA SpringNationals, beating Allen Johnson in the final at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas.
Enders-Stevens had a 6.594-second pass at 210.60 mph in her Chevrolet Camaro, beating Johnson — 6.588 at 210.28 — with a better reaction time off the line.
“My team's been really awesome,” said Enders-Stevens, also the winner last month in Las Vegas. “I've had a really consistent race car. That's what it takes Sundays, consistency. We had to make last second transmission change and go through the gears to make sure everything was right.”
The victory was the 99th by a female driver in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series history.
Antron Brown won in Top Fuel, and Robert Hight topped the Funny Car field.
Racing in his fifth straight final, Hight ran a 4.055 at 314.90 in his Ford Mustang to beat Jack Beckman. Hight has three victories in the first six events this season. He opened a 122-point lead over owner and teammate John Force.
Brown raced to second straight win with a 3.793 pass at 317.72 against Khalid alBalooshi. Brown took over the Top Fuel points lead from Doug Kalitta.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times