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Defending Iowa champion finishes 2nd yet again

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LUKE MEREDITH | June 23, 2013 10:21 PM EST | AP


NEWTON, Iowa — A victory at Iowa Speedway isn't exactly a curse.

But for the third year in a row, the IndyCar Series winner from the previous season at Iowa has finished just one spot short defending their title.

Ryan Hunter-Reay's second-place finish Sunday at the IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway was the third straight time that the defending champion was second in their return to the track.

Tony Kanaan was second in 2011 after winning in 2010. Marco Andretti was second last season after besting Kanaan two years ago, and Hunter-Reay battled back from last to finish second behind teammate James Hinchcliffe on Sunday in Iowa.

"We had a tough weekend. To come second out of this thing, I'm pretty pleased with that. Good job to James (Hinchcliffe)," Hunter-Reay said.

It was the third win of the year for Hinchcliffe, who had the strongest car of the weekend at Iowa.

If form holds true, Hinchcliffe's car will be just off the mark in Iowa in 2014.