[media-credit id=4 align=”alignright” width=”266″][/media-credit]While it marked the first win for Michael Andretti as a car owner in Toronto, it marked his eighth win overall as he had won seven previous times as a driver.
“What can I say, I love Toronto,” he says. “I think everybody knows that. It’s been a great track to me as a driver. We struggled here a little bit from the owner’s standpoint. It was great to finally get to Victory Lane.”
Andretti’s first win as a driver came in 1989, followed up by 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2000 and 2001.
“It’s always different as an owner and a driver,” he says. “They’re both really special in their way. As a driver there’s more of that self-satisfaction. As an owner it’s a great feeling, too. More the camaraderie of the people.”
The win for Ryan Hunter-Reay also marked the third straight win for Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport. With two oval wins, a road course wins and the points lead, a lot of people have Hunter-Reay pinned as this year’s champion.
“I think he’s a real factor in the championship,” Andretti says. “He’s really strong on these types of tracks as well. He doesn’t have a weakness when he’s driving. That’s what you need to have as a driver. As a team owner, to have a driver like that, that’s something we liked about Ryan, that we could be competitive at all types of tracks.”
Now moving forward, Andretti says that its about telling Hunter-Reay not to do anything different moving forward as it’s all about continuing to do what he is doing.
“If everybody does their job, we should be okay,” he says. “If there’s no mistakes made the rest of the year, I think we have a good shot at winning the championship.”
On the flip side, hometown hero James Hinchcliffe had a disappointing weekend in Toronto with an engine problem 22 laps into the race.
“I feel bad for him because he was doing a helluva job,” Andretti says. “He was going to be a factor for the win watching the time he was running. They did a good strategy as well, and then his engine had a problem which was a shame.