INDYCAR SERIES Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix

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Hunter-Reay wins first race at Watkins Glen

Jul 6, 2008 - 11:29 PM WATKINS GLEN, New York (Ticker) -- Ryan Hunter-Reay took advantage of a spin by series leader Scott Dixon to win Sunday's IndyCar Series Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International.

It was Hunter-Reay's first series victory in his 16th career start. The Texas native also won twice while driving in the now-defunct Champ Car World Series.

"I'm so happy I can't even tell you," Hunter-Reay said. "I was running my rear end off there the last couple of laps."

Darren Manning was second, followed by Tony Kanaan, Buddy Rice and Marco Andretti.

Dixon, who was seeking a series-record fourth consecutive victories at The Glen, was running second while the field was under caution on lap 49 when he spun in the 10th turn of the 3.37-mile road course and collected pole sitter Ryan Briscoe, who was third.

"First of all I want to apologize to Briscoe - I feel bad, I feel like an idiot," Dixon said. "I was just trying to burn off the front tires a bit for the restart and I got a little aggressive and it snapped around on me."

Dixon finished 11th and now holds a 48-point lead over Helio Castroneves in the standings. Castroneves finished 16th after suffering from gearbox issues early in the race.

Briscoe, who led a field-high 37 laps, wound up 12th.

"It's unfortunate," Briscoe said. "I can only imagine how Scott's feeling right now. I just wish he could have messed up and not gotten me involved. I think we had a real shot. It would have been a real good fight between me and Dixie down to the finish line.

"But hey, that's life."

Hunter-Reay was running fourth at the time of Dixon's spin, and moved up behind Manning prior to the restart. Hunter-Reay then overtook Manning easily in the first turn of the lap 51 restart and cruised to the win over the remaining nine laps.

"I just got a good run on Darren, stuffed it down in there, and said I'll deal with it when it happens," Hunter-Reay said. "Then I got to the top of the hill, Darren popped to the outside so I stuck to the inside and we held on to it from there."

It was a strange finish to a race that went the first 40 laps with only a couple of minor incidents and wound up running under caution for most of the last 20 laps because of a series of crashes and spinouts.

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