Report – MAVTV 500
FONTANA, Calif. Sept. 15, 2012—In the shadows of Hollywood, the IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at Auto Club Speedway packed enough drama for a blockbuster movie—with all of the subplots.
When the checkered flag flew for race winner Ed Carpenter, Ryan Hunter-Reay finished fourth to edge out Will Power for the 2012 series championship, despite entering the race 17 points behind the Team Penske driver. Hunter-Reay’s impressive drive also netted him the AJ Foyt trophy for winning the Oval Track championship. It was the first title for team owner Michael Andretti since 2007 when Dario Franchitti won it.
Wade Cunningham drove the ABC Supply Honda to a 14th place finish which was a triumph of sorts for Cunningham who was tapped to drive when regular season driver Mike Conway stepped out. On Wednesday during testing at the 2-mile superspeedway, Conway announced that he no longer wished to compete on oval tracks.
Cunningham flew in Thursday and did a shakedown run in the No. 14 car. In the Friday morning practice session he ran a total of 28 laps. He qualified 23rd that afternoon, but in the final practice that evening, Cunningham spun and hit the wall in Turn 2. He was “exploring different lines on the track” when he misjudged the seams on the track which caused his car to spin.
The ABC Supply crew repaired the car overnight which included having to switch out the engine, replace the undertray, right side suspension and uprights, and repair some of the bodywork.