Ryan Hunter-Reay, one of two contenders for the Izod IndyCar Series title, hit the wall during a test lap Wednesday ahead of the season’s final race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
“It happens,” Hunter-Reay said after he returned to the garage, adding that “The good news is the car is not that bad” in terms of damage, which mostly was to the car’s left-rear wheel assembly. “We’ll get back out there today.”
The Izod IndyCar Series’ finale is Saturday night at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway oval, where the cars reach speeds of more than 210 mph.
The series held the test session because Indy-style cars haven’t raced at at the Fontana track since 2005 and the series has a new race car this year.
Hunter-Reay is 17 points behind leader Will Power of Team Penske in the quest for the championship.
A driver for the Andretti Autosport team, Hunter-Reay jumped back into championship contention last weekend with a win on the streets of Baltimore. It was his series-high fourth win of the season.
“We’re riding a wave of momentum, for sure, after Baltimore,” Hunter-Reay said before the test session started. As for the title, “I want it incredibly bad,” he said.
For Power, meanwhile, it’s the third consecutive year that he’s come to the season’s last race with a shot at the title. He lost the crown to Dario Franchitti in 2010 and 2011.
“We just focus on what we can control,” Power said. “However it plays out, either we’re going to be champion or not.”