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Ryan Hunter-Reay, the first American to win the IndyCar open-wheel racing championship since 2006, remains hopeful at a news conference held at Marisol's restaurant on the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. Thursday Sept. 13, 2012.  Hunter-Reay went on to claim the IndyCar 2012 crown after his performance on the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
Photo by Roger Morante
Ryan Hunter-Reay, the first American to win the IndyCar open-wheel racing championship since 2006, remains hopeful at a news conference held at Marisol's restaurant on the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. Thursday Sept. 13, 2012. Hunter-Reay went on to claim the IndyCar 2012 crown after his performance on the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Sports, Santa Monica, Racing, Indycar, Ryan Hunter-reay, Open Wheel, Fontana

Hunter-Reay Wins IndyCar Open-Wheel Race On Auto Club Speedway

The IndyCar championship cup waits to be claimed two days before the IndyCar championship racing event held on Saturday Sept. 15, 2012.  Ryan Hunter-Reay would prove to be victorious and won the cup after Will Power crashed on the Auto Club speedway in Fontana, California.
Photo by Roger Morante
The IndyCar championship cup waits to be claimed two days before the IndyCar championship racing event held on Saturday Sept. 15, 2012. Ryan Hunter-Reay would prove to be victorious and won the cup after Will Power crashed on the Auto Club speedway in Fontana, California.

Posted Sep. 17, 2012, 1:37 pm

Roger Morante / Sports Editor

Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport won the IndyCar World Championship Race 2012 on the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana over point leader Will Power of Team Penske placing a respectable fourth in the Saturday race and stealing the crown by a few points from favorite Power.

Hunter-Reay's performance in the open wheel racing event held throughout the 2012 IndyCar racing season included four wins and 468 points to earn him the title of world champion that included a 1,000,000 dollar prize.

Power, who did not finish the race, crashed and ended his season on the Auto Club track with 465 points placing a disappointing second and handing the crown to a jubilent Hunter-Reay.

Scott Dixon placed third with 435 points overall and Helio Castroneves placed fourth with 431 points.

Hunter-Reay was hopeful about his chances of winning against Power a few days before the Izod IndyCar World Championship 2012 race even though he entered the championship race trailing 17 points behind Power.

"I had two goose eggs in Ohio and Sonoma so those definitely hurt and we were on our back foot for sure," said Hunter-Reay. "We knew that to keep our championship hopes alive it was going to come down to Baltimore and that was probably one of the hardest races I have ever driven."

Hunter-Reay won the Baltimore race and this put him in good standing for the IndyCar World Championship Race 2012 in California.

But due to Power's crash into a barrier on the Auto Club Speedway, Hunter-Reay's fourth place finish Saturday was good enough for him to capture the IndyCar cup in 2012 and claim the victory.

Hunter-Reay becomes the first American to win the race since Sam Hornish, Jr. in 2006.

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