WEST ALLIS, Wis. - No doubt about this one. Ryan Hunter-Reay was the class of the field at the Milwaukee Mile.
Hunter-Reay, who took an upset victory last year on the road course in Surfers Paradise, Australia, with the help of a hailstorm and a well-timed pit stop, needed no acts of nature or luck Saturday night in the Road Runner 250.
The 23-year-old from Boca Raton started from the pole and led every lap, the first Champ Car driver to do that on an oval since Bobby Rahal won a 200-lap race at Phoenix in 1992.
Hunter-Reay lapped all in the 18-car field except Patrick Carpentier and 2003 Milwaukee winner Michel Jourdain Jr., who never really challenged the leader after the early laps.
It apparently looked tougher from the cockpit of Hunter-Reay's Herdez Competition Lola than from the grandstands.
"It was such a battle with the traffic," Hunter-Reay said. "You couldn't relax for a second. There were some squirrelly cars out there and you just had to keep it all together and stay sharp all the time."
The only oval event on the 16-race Champ Car schedule began with rookie Justin Wilson bouncing off the wall on the opening lap and was slowed by six more caution flags.
Tracy was battling teammate Carpentier for second place, trying to make an outside pass in turn two when his car slid up into the wall on Lap 60.
BUSCH SERIES: Bobby Hamilton Jr. will have the lead when the rain-delayed race resumes Monday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The MBNA 200 was stopped after 28 of 200 laps Saturday. Another 72 laps were needed to make it official. Drivers were called to their cars twice, but each time the covers were removed the rain resumed.