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Indy 500 champ Hunter-Reay wants Pocono success

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 2, 2014 at 5:27 pm •  Published: July 2, 2014

Ryan Hunter-Reay might have discovered the perfect resting spot for the 97-foot scoring pylon recently removed from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I'll put in the front yard," he said, laughing.

The Indianapolis 500 champion has good reason to want the towering keepsake: His No. 28 was the last number to ever light up the 20-year-old board from the P1 spot following his win earlier this year.

Hunter-Reay might find it easier to add something else to his trophy case instead.

He used a pair of top-10 finishes at the Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader to straighten out a season that had swooned following his Indy triumph. A 19th-place finish at Texas. Finishes of 16th and 19th in dual races in Detroit.

"(We) left Texas looking like we were a little too far out of first," Hunter-Reay said.

Not anymore. Hunter-Reay's seventh and sixth at Houston showed his previous three races may have been aberrations rather than a sign of a permanent spiral.

"Sunday at Houston was a win for us," Hunter-Reay said. "We should have probably finished 18th, 19th, 20th, and we ended up with a sixth."

He enters Sunday's race at Pocono Raceway third in the championship standings, only two points behind Helio Castroneves and 41 points behind series leader Will Power. The 500-mile race is worth double points, meaning a win or top-10 finish could vault him up the standings.

With another doubleheader ahead in Toronto, Hunter-Reay seems poised to make a serious run at a second series championship.

"Maybe we should make the whole series double points at this point," Hunter-Reay said.

Wishful thinking, for now.

Hunter-Reay has been so focused on the next race, he hasn't had much time to reflect on the Indianapolis 500 victory.

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