Ryan Hunter-Reay defends Iowa title, leads US sweep

Ryan Hunter-Reay defends Iowa title, leads US sweep

Former Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay successfully defended his title by leading a 1-2-3 USA podium sweep Saturday at the Iowa Corn 300 IndyCar race.

Hunter-Reay held off American compatriots Josef Newgarden and Sage Karam to claim his third win in the past four races at the Iowa Speedway and his victory also gave Andretti Autosport its sixth straight triumph on oval.

"I was driving the snot out of it," Hunter-Reay said. "This one we really had to work for. It was a lot of work in the cockpit."

It is the first time Americans have swept the podium in an IndyCar race since Sam Hornish, Marco Andretti and Michael Andretti did it at the 2006 Indianapolis 500.

Graham Rahal gave the US a fourth place finish as well, while Colombia`s Carlos Munoz placed fifth.

Hunter-Reay is the ninth different winner in 13 IndyCar races this season and Saturday was especially sweet for the ex-series champ because had hadn`t reached victory lane since his triumph here last year.

"It is amazing to get in victory circle again. We are having a troubled year but we got to victory lane in one of the most competitive seasons," Hunter-Reay said.

Rookie Karam finished a career high third but he got into a post-race verbal exchange with driver Ed Carpenter after the two had almost collided on the track earlier.

"He has no respect for anyone out there. He has no clue," Carpenter said of Karam.

Karam said close calls are just part of racing.

"It is the same way he drove me. This is racing. This isn`t go-karts anymore," Karam said. 

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