NEWTON, Iowa (AFP) – Canada's James Hinchcliffe won the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on Sunday, collecting his season-high third victory of the IndyCar campaign and his first career oval-course triumph in the series.
Hinchcliffe started on the front row, seized the lead from the opening lap and stayed in front for all but three laps through the final pit stops and to the finish line after 250 laps over the .875-mile layout.
"I can't believe we led that whole thing," Hinchcliffe said. "This is awesome."
American Ryan Hunter-Reay, who fell to 21st with early right front car damage but charged into second place, was slowed by lapped traffic late and could not mount a challenge for the victory in the final seconds.
"I worked so hard to catch back up to James and then (was slowed by) lapped traffic," Hunter-Reay said. "If you're five or six laps down, staying in front of the leaders is uncalled for."
Brazil's Tony Kanaan, who won last month's Indianapolis 500, was third, his fourth podium finish in a row at Iowa. American Ed Carpenter finished fourth.
Brazil's Helio Castroneves remained the season points leader with 332 but saw his edge shrink from 25 to nine points over second-place Hunter-Reay.
Marco Andretti was third, 55 points back, and Hinchcliffe fourth, 66 adrift after the 10th of 19 races.
The next race in the series will be in two weeks at Pocono Raceway.