LONG BEACH, California — Takuma Sato became the first driver from Japan to win an Indy car race, prevailing in the 39th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Sato, who started fourth in the 80-lap race on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit, provided A.J. Foyt Racing its first victory since July 7, 2002, at Kansas Speedway with Airton Dare behind the wheel. The last win for the team on a road/street course was by A.J. Foyt on Oct. 1, 1978, at Silverstone. Overall, A.J. Foyt Racing has 44th victories.
"Takuma made it look too easy," team director and race strategist Larry Foyt said. "It made me so nervous watching it out there. He just drove a flawless race."
Sato, making his 52nd IZOD IndyCar Series start, overtook Ryan Hunter-Reay for second on Lap 23 and assumed the point on Lap 30 when race leader Will Power pitted under yellow. The remainder of the race Sato's No. 14 ABC Supply car was strong on both the Firestone primary and alternate tires.
"It was just a perfect weekend to be honest," said Sato, whose previous best finish was second at Edmonton in 2012. "The team did a tremendous job. It is great news for the Japanese. Japan has had such a tough time after the earthquake. I'm really happy to give everybody some good news."
Sato led Graham Rahal across the finish line under caution. It was the best finish for Rahal since finishing second at Texas last June. Justin Wilson, who won that race at Texas Motor Speedway, advanced from the 24th starting position to finish third.
Sato is the third winner in as many IZOD IndyCar Series races this season and climbed to second in the championship standings. Helio Castroneves, who finished 10th, has a six-point lead heading into the May 5 race on the street circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Honda-powered teams swept the podium for the first time this season.
Also at Long Beach, Carlos Munoz won the Firestone Indy Lights Long Beach 100 from the pole position. It was the second consecutive flag-to-flag victory for Munoz, driving the No. 26 Dialy-Ser car for Andretti Autosport.
Gabby Chaves finished second for Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian and Sage Karam was third in another Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car. Munoz moved to first in the championship standings heading to the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 24.
DAY 3 NOTEBOOK:
The following car will have a 10-grid spot penalty for today's IZOD IndyCar Series race: #55 Vautier (unapproved engine change).
The following cars: #10 Franchitti, #1 Hunter-Reay, #12 Power, #3 Castroneves, #11 Kanaan, #83 Kimball, #5 Viso, #15 Rahal, #4 Hildebrand, #7 Bourdais, #67 Newgarden and #6 Saavedra will start on the alternate red tires. All cars must use a new set of alternate red tires for two green flag laps in today's race, unless rain tires are used due to weather.
TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH RACE SPECIFICS:
•The race is 80 laps, 157.4 miles on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course.
•The race will become a timed race of two hours if there are wet conditions.
•The pit road speed limit is 50 mph.
•Pole sitter Dario Franchitti will grid drivers' left.
•The green flag to start the race will be show the third time by the start-finish line.
•Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Safety Car.
•The race leader will accelerate at pit in on restarts.
•There will be no tow-ins or returns from the garage within 15 minutes of the checkered flag
TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH PRE-RACE:
At 3p.m., the ambient temperature was 64 degrees with a relative humidity of 76 percent. Skies were sunny. The track temperature was 112 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
3:09 p.m. - Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer and race grand marshall gave the command "Drivers, fire those things up." All 27 cars have started and are rolling on the grid.
TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH RACE RUNNING:
Lap 1: GREEN. #10 Franchitti leads the field into Turn 1. #9 Dixon spins in Turn 6 after contact with #55 Vautier. #9 Dixon continues with flat right rear tire.
IZOD IndyCar Series officials have penalized #55 Vautier with a drive through penalty for avoidable contact for lap 1 incident with #9 Dixon.
Lap 2: Dixon on pit road for four tires and fuel. FULL COURSE YELLOW. #6 Saavedra makes hard contact with wall at exit of Turn 9. Saavedra climbs from the car without assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team. #25 Andretti on pit road to replace the nosecone.
Lap 7: GREEN. #10 Franchitti leads the field into Turn 1. Hunter-Reay makes pass for the lead just past start-finish, but Franchitti retakes the lead at Turn 1.
This is also the first lap he has led since the season finale at Fontana last October. Since his return to the IndyCar Series in 2009, this is the most starts (3) at the beginning of the season he has gone before leading a lap.
Lap 10: #10 Franchitti leads #1 Hunter-Reay by .9390 of a second.
Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR medical director: Sebastian Saavedra has been checked and released from the infield care center. He is cleared to drive.
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 6 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "It was a wild start. Battling with Simona there, I think she had some front damage, so I was taking advantage of it. Went into the corner and lost the control from the back and tried to catch it, and when I caught it I just went straight into the wall, one of those things. It's just an unfortunate situation, we've been strong throughout the weekend, we just needed a good finish and to try to bring the car home. It didn't happen. It feels very bad to be honest, we shouldn't have been in this situation. We'll keep working for the next."
Lap 12: #10 Franchitti leads #1 Hunter-Reay by 1.2493 seconds.#3 Castroneves on pit road for four tires and fuel. Crew also replaces the nosecone.
Lap 17: #10 Franchitti leads #1 Hunter-Reay by 1.7384 seconds.
Lap 19: #77 Pagenaud on pit road for four tires and fuel.
Lap 20: #10 Franchitti leads #1 Hunter-Reay by 1.9358 seconds.
Lap 22: #14 Sato passes #1 Hunter-Reay for second place in Turn 1.
Lap 23: #10 Franchitti leads #14 Sato by 2.9733 seconds.
Lap 26: #10 Franchitti leads #14 Sato by 1.3875 seconds.
Lap 28: #14 Sato, #1 Hunter-Reay on pit road for four tires and fuel.
Lap 29: Leader #10 Franchitti on pit road for four tires and fuel.
Lap 30: FULL COURSE YELLOW. #83 Kimball and #98 Tagliani in tire barriers in Turn 8. #55 Vautier on pit lane for four tires and fuel. Leader under caution is #12 Power.
Will Power has led in every race in 2013. This is the fourth consecutive season he had led in the first three race of the season.
Lap 31: Leader #12 Power on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is #14 Sato.
Lap 35: GREEN. #14 Sato leads the field into Turn 1. Behind there is an incident in Turn 1 between #27 Hinchcliffe and #11 Kanaan. #27 Hinchcliffe's car collects #5 Viso. FULL COURSE YELLOW. #5 Viso continues on course.
Takuma Sato is leading his first laps of the season. He last led at Auto Club Speedway in 2012.The last time an A.J. Foyt car has led a race since Texas in 2011.
Lap 36: #1 Hunter-Reay on pit road to repair damage. #5 Viso on pit road for repairs.
Lap 39: GREEN. #14 Sato leads the field into Turn 1.
Lap 40: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 3.4781 seconds.
Lap 42: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 4.2087 seconds.
Lap 44: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 2.9603 seconds.
Lap 47: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 1.6923 seconds
Lap 50: #1 Hunter-Reay is in the tire barrier in Turn 8. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Leader under caution is #14 Sato, #15 Rahal, #55 Vautier, #10 Franchtti and #19 Wilson.
Lap 51:Leaders on pit road for four tires and fuel. Sato wins the race off of pit road followed by #15 Rahal, #19 Wilson. #12 Power had contact on pit road with #55 Vautier. There is right rear damage on #12 Power.
Lap 52: #2 Allmendinger is off course in Turn 5.
Lap 56: GREEN. #14 Sato leads the field into Turn 1. #83 Kimball makes contact with tire barrier in Turn 1.
RYAN HUNTER REAY (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet): "I just started getting desperate. We couldn't go anywhere. We missed some of the grip today that we had in prior days. Some of the corners that were my strongest were my weakest today. I was definitely handcuffed, so we just started trying things. We were in the back anyway, I had to move forward again and I just got in too hot, no grip on the inside there. Just trying things, trying anything to make a bad day go a little better, but it just went from bad to worse. I feel really bad for the guys, they gave me a great car all weekend, we just missed it today. I absolutely missed it out there on the track, so we have to rebound in Brazil for sure and try to get the DHL Chevy on top again."
IZOD IndyCar Series officials have penalized #55 Vautier for an unsafe pit release on Lap 51.
Lap 58: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 1.1480 seconds.
Lap 60: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 1.0640 seconds.
Lap 62: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 0.6221 of a second.
Lap 64: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 1.1913 seconds.
Lap 66: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 1.2837 seconds.
Lap 69: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 2.1415 seconds.
Lap 72: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 3.6019 seconds.
Lap 74: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 4.3449 seconds.
Lap 78: Contact between #11 Kanaan and #22 Servia in Turn 1.
Lap 79: WHITE: #14 Sato leads #15 Rahal by 4.9924 seconds. FULL COURSE YELLOW.
Lap 80: YELLOW and CHECKERED. Takuma Sato wins the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach under caution.
TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH POST-RACE NOTES:
TAKUMA SATO - A.J. FOYT RACING - WINNER, TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
• This is Takuma Sato's first career Indy car win. His previous best finish was second at Edmonton 2012.
• Sato's win comes in his 52nd IZOD IndyCar Series start. He is the first Japanese driver to win in Indy car.
• Sato's previous best finish at Long Beach was eight in 2012.
• This the 44th Indy car win for A.J. Foyt Racing. The team's last win came with Airton Dare at Kansas 2002.
GRAHAM RAHAL - RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING - SECOND
• This is Graham Rahal's first podium finish of the 2013 season.
• This is a career best finish for Rahal at Long Beach. His previous est finish was 8th in 2007
• Team owner and father Bobby Rahal finished second as a driver at Long Beach four times (1988, 1991-1993).
• This is Rahal's best finish since Texas 2012, where he also finished second.
JUSTIN WILSON - DALE COYNE RACING - THIRD
• This is Justin Wilson's third podium finish at Long Beach. He finished second twice (2006, '10)
• This is Wilson's best finish since he won at Texas in June 2012 and his second podium finish since 2010.
TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH POST-RACE QUOTES:
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Honda, winner Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach): "It was just a perfect weekend to be honest. The team did a tremendous job. Pit stops, right calls, the power was great and I was comfortable in the car and able to push everything. (About pit stops): "Super job. Super job. We had a pit issue the last two races, but today is just amazing the whole crew did a tremendous job." (What win will mean in Japan): "It great news for the Japanese. Japan has had such a tough time after the earthquake. I'm really happy to give everybody some good news to wake up to because it's very early Japanese time.
LARRY FOYT (Managing Director, A.J. Foyt Racing): "I wish (A.J. Foyt) was here. We hate it because he is definitely our big leader and he is the big boss man. This is for him." (About win): "Takuma made it look too easy. It made me so nervous watching it out there. He just drove a flawless race. I've never seen a race like that. Just a perfect race. And the car was great. The engineers did a great set up. And what a pit crew. Those guys were fast today. And it just all came together. We have been saying that. We've had flashes of being really quick and we just had to bring it all together. The ABC car just looked awesome up front all day."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Midas/Big O Tires Honda): "I think we just performed the way we ought to each and every weekend. We came out here and the Midas/Big O Tires car was right there all week. Qualifying was a little bit disappointing to be 11th but we were in the top-five in almost every session. I felt going into the race that is exactly what we could do there. To be honest is just feels phenomenal to get this result. God I came so close to winning yet again. On the last restart if (Charlie) Kimball weren't in the way we would have had a great run at it. And clearly he overshot himself into (Turn) 1. Man it felt so good to be on the podium here."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "It was a little bit of luck, circumstances and the team did a great job on strategy. We pitted on Lap 5 or 6. Came in and put the reds on. We had plenty of reds because we didn't qualify. We just went out there and pushed hard the entire race. I think that helped having an extra set, being able to pick a few people off. It's great to get this result for the Boy Scouts of America and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing. They've worked hard to put the car back together on Friday so I have to thank them. It's also good for Honda here at Long Beach to get 1-2-3-4. I think it's fantastic."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "Not ideal we lost, you know we lost a couple of spots in the pits and then we lost another one there on the restart with Charlie being a lap down and I don't know what the hell he was doing. With a crash right in front of us, I had to lift to avoid it. And Justin got by after that and the guys in the front were pretty evenly matched after that, as Justin and I were. And I couldn't get close enough to make a move and then I had to start watching my fuel. Yea, you know not another great day for the Target team, but after the first two results this is a lot better. We're getting there, we're getting there."
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Honda): "I'm really proud of the run we had and the pit crew guys did such an awesome job, because we made up three or four of those spots in the pits on our last stop. We struggled in the first stint and were going backwards, but we had a great strategy and ended up on the sticker reds in the end and I was able to pass several guys there at the end just using the overtake. I didn't see (the incident between Oriol Servia and Tony Kanaan) because I'd let those guys go a little bit while we were saving to make sure we had enough fuel. I saw some tire smoke as I approached Turn One and was able to split through the middle. Really happy to get another Top Five here for the second year in a row, but we'll make sure we put the work in to make sure we're ready to rock-n-roll next week. If we continue to make gains like we have we'll be running up front with the big boys a lot more often."
E.J. VISO (No. 5 Team Venezuela Andretti Autosport HVM Chevrolet): "A very tough weekend for the team. It was looking like a good weekend for me after our very difficult beginning. It was a very tough Friday, a bit better Saturday in qualifying - we were able to qualify in the top 10 - and then in the race I really had a good, good recovery with some changes for the race which were in the right direction. The team gave me a car that was very competitive with new and old tires. I was able to have a very good rhythm and good pace with fuel. I believe we had a car that was able to win this race. I feel bad for the outcome of the team: one driver took three Andretti cars out - it's a shame. Now to Brazil."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "Unfortunately it was just another day in a bad weekend for us here. We were taken out by (Tristan) Vautier on Lap 1 which resulted in a flat tire for us. We had to come in for a front wing as well when we pit, and lost a lap. So we missed out on the strategy that got the other guys around us into the top five. I think we had some damage as a result of the accident and we did the best we could with what we had. We also had some issues with our top gear limit and it held us back a bit in the kink from really making a run at anybody."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "We had a rough race. It could have been a great race for us, we had a lot of opportunity there to score really good points and we ended up just scoring mediocre points. Not a great day. Not a horrible day, but also not a good one. We're not satisfied, probably just excited to go to Brazil now and get another shot." (About last pit stop): "We shot ourselves in the foot on both ends. We came in really late, it would have been perfect, I think we would have just been gifted a very lucky position there, probably would have gone straight to the front and then we had a slow stop, we couldn't get the left rear on, and then I ended up stalling the car. So we had a double foul all around there. I feel bad, we we're already slow in the stop and then I pretty much finished us off with the stall"
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "It was a little disappointing result but there were a lot of positives. The No. 83 team did a great job in pit lane. We ran up front. We had the speed and the pace to run consistently up front. We're looking forward to taking what we learned this weekend to the Texas test and Brazil. We have a good pit lane position from qualifying for Brazil. From here, we'll go back to qualifying consistently and staying up front."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "Two in a row (not finishing due to contact) - what a kick in the pants. It's really unfortunate because I think the Go Daddy team had done a good job giving us a great race car. If you look at the first stint we performed pretty well; we picked up spots on the start and the first restart. We thought we were taking a bit of a gamble on the black tires there, but I think that might have been a really good strategy call seeing the way that the reds were falling off. We knew we had to protect them the second stint - I was excited to see how that was going to play out for us. A few guys jump us there with pitting a bit early but we were comfortable with the pace of our car. And on the restart… I didn't get the best restart and Tony (Kanaan) had a smokin' one and I was trying to keep, I think it was (Simon) Pagenaud, behind me on the inside and as we got down to Turn 1. I haven't seen a replay so I don't know if Tony was trying to do a last minute pass or if he was getting squeezed by someone else, but he moved in the brake zone and I just had nowhere to go and day done. So really tough break for the Go Daddy guys because I genuinely think we were podium contenders today and it was going to be a good comeback from not the strongest of weekends. But one thing I love about this team is they pull out on Sundays - they do Sunday as well as anybody, and often better, and I think today was going to be one of those days. But we'll get our momentum back and move on to Brazil."
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "Honestly it was a good points day for us when you look at all the championship contenders who finished behind us. Starting 17th and finishing 7th is really a good day. The strategy my team came up with worked out really well, and the pace of my car was awesome. We were nearly the fastest car on the race track. I'm really happy with the end of the weekend. It's just a shame we weren't able to have a good qualifying session to start higher on the grid because I think I could have run away from the field. We're chipping away at things, and since it's early in the season we still have space to make up points in the championship." - Simon Pagenaud
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO: "I think it was a good recovery from where we started. The car was really fast and the guys did a really awesome job in the pits. When we had clean laps we could move forward and made up some positions, so I think P9 is really good for us. Hopefully next time we can start a little more up front and make life a little bit easier. But, I think it was a great weekend for us.
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "I think we should have had a better finish today. We had a 10, 11 or 12th place car today. We had a tough first stop, but the car was very good in the middle stint and I did get up to P12. Then later I tried to make a pass on (Sebastien) Bourdais and broke too hard and locked up the right front. The tire was junk after that. So I didn't have the race car that we had in the middle. We are making progress with the Fuzzy's Vodka Chevy but we aren't getting the results right now. The team working well together and I feel good going to Brazil."
MARCO ANDRETTI (RC Cola No. 25 Chevrolet): "Going into this, I knew that this would be about the best we would finish. I am definitely pleased with how we climbed our way through the field and how we stayed consistent throughout the day. We knew that if we just stayed in the race and didn't make any mistakes, we would be good. I had some front wing damage and a lot of understeer the whole race."
TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "We had an amazing car today, so thanks to the team for that. I made a mistake at the beginning of the race with Scott Dixon, and I'm sorry about that to him and his crew. I got pretty familiar with pit lane after serving my drive thru penalty for the incident, but we got back out on the track and my pace was amazing. We really made the most of the restarts. I think we gained five positions on each of them. It felt great to run up in podium position for awhile. Unfortunately in the pits I got sent out and made contact with Will Power's car. We had some communication issues as a team, but we're all learning to work together and things happen. We win as a team and we lose as a team, and I had my mistakes as well. We had a great race going and it's too bad it ended this way, but we're going to get a good result soon because our speed is there."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Hydroxycut KV Racing Technology-SH Racing): "We had a good race going and I was set for a fifth-place finish until Servia took me out with half a lap to go. It's really frustrating... I was the leading Chevy car out there and it was looking like a good points race for us. I'm really disappointed on how it turned out."
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 22 Panther DRR Chevrolet): "I had the best car probably of the whole season in the race. It was awesome. On one restart, I don't know what happened to Simon [Pagenaud] but he slowed down in the straight and I broke the front wing but even with that we were one of the fastest cars on track. I was saving fuel but I was flying. I was so happy." (About incident with Kanaan): "With two laps to go, I had a run on Tony (Kanaan). I was on the push to pass, I don't think he saw me coming. I got in his inside and he closed the door. I was there. I cannot disappear. It was one of those deals where you both want the same space in the corner so you crash. I'm angry with him, he's angry with me. That's what happens in racing."
AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 2 Penske Automotive Chevrolet): "I thought today was going to be a good day for the Penske Automotive Chevrolet, we were posting lap times that were consistent with those up front. Unfortunately we just couldn't get the track position we needed and having the gear box break in Turn 5 ended the day. But it's another step in the learning process and should make us better for Indy."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Auto Club Team Penske Chevrolet): "Tough day for the Auto Club Chevrolet, but my team did a great job getting me back out after our incident with the nose. I was trying to be careful but got bunched up and broke the front wing. At the end of the day the lemon became the lemonade with our finish. We are very happy to come out of here still leading the points and now we have focus on what we need to do to improve."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "Frustrating day out there for the Verizon car, we had a car that we thought was good enough to win today. Sato was very strong and he really dominated out there. Obviously we didn't have the start out there that we wanted and broke traction which hurt us. We didn't lose much in the points which is a good thing but certainly we could have had a much better day."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "Well a lot of things happened today. We started in the middle of the pack and that ended up being our result. The yellows didn't fall at the right time for us and we struggled with two of our pit stops. The last restart I couldn't stay in front of Helio, and that was terminal for us at that point. I am disappointed because the team worked so hard to give me a good car, and should have been in the Top-10."
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS
de Silvestro 62
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP
LONG BEACH 100 RACE SPECIFICS:
•The race is 45 laps, 88.56 miles on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street course or a one-hour time limit, whichever occurs first.
•The pit road speed limit is 45 mph.
•Pole sitter Carlos Munoz will grid drivers' left.
•The green flag to start the race will be show the second time by the start-finish line.
•Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Safety Car.
•The race leader will accelerate exiting Turn 11 on restarts.
LONG BEACH 100 PRE-RACE:
At 10 a.m., the ambient temperature was 60 degrees with a relative humidity of 89 percent. Skies were mostly clear with intermittent clouds. The track temperature was 83 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
10:08 a.m. - Command to fire engines by Rod Falkner, principal of Falkner Livingston Racing. All 10 cars have started and are rolling on the grid.
LONG BEACH 100 RACE RUNNING:
Lap 1: GREEN. #26 Munoz leads the field into Turn 1, behind there is a multi-car accident entering Turn 1. Cars involved are: #77 Hawksworth, #12 Veach and #5 Dempsey. #77 Hawksworth and #12 Veach made wheel-to-wheel contact on the frontstretch. #12 Veach made left-side contact with the retaining wall. #77 Hawksworth spun across the track and made hard contact with the right-side wall, collecting #5. Dempsey. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Leaders under caution are: #26 Munoz, #2 Garcia, #7 Chaves, #4 Goncalvez and #22 Grenier.
Lap 6: GREEN. #26 Munoz leads the field into Turn 1.
Lap 10: #26 Munoz leads #2 Garcia by 3.5803.
ZACH VEACH (No. 12 K12/Andretti Autosport): "We had a really good start. With Carlos (Munoz) ahead of me I had a pull, something that (Jack) Hawksworth didn't have. Obviously he could tell in a way that I was gaining on him. I felt that we were going to get him going into Turn 1. I kept gaining on him and he kept trying to muscle me to the wall. At that point I was to a spot that I couldn't lift. I was to the wall so I gave him as much room as I absolutely could."
PETER DEMPSEY (No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing): "It is a really frustrating start to the race. Really didn't get the opportunity to get going. We got a good start, but it was unfortunate. The one thing that was stressed at the drivers meeting from the race director is that we need to give drivers respect on track which we haven't really gotten a whole lot this season. And again I had issues with drivers during qualifications not getting the respect needed and here we are again drivers making unnecessary contact going 140 mph into Turn 1 of the first lap of an hour long race."
Lap 11: FULL COURSE YELLOW. #2 Garcia spins in Turn 1. #22 Grenier makes contact with the wall in Turn 1 to avoid and makes contact with the #2 Garcia. Leaders under caution are: #26 Munoz, #7 Chaves, #4 Goncalvez, #8 Karam and #56 Di Leo.
Lap 15: GREEN. #26 Munoz leads the field into Turn 1.
10:45 a.m. - Firestone Indy Lights officials have announced that the race will run to the 60-minute limit. There are approximately 30 minutes remaining.
Lap 17: #26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 1.5256 seconds.
Lap 20: #26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 1.9722 seconds.
Lap 23: #26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 1.7062 seconds.
#26 Munoz has clinched the two bonus points for leading the most laps in today's race. He also clinched the bonus point for winning the Sunoco Pole Award.
Lap 25:#26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 1.7044 seconds.
Lap 26: #8 Karam makes pass for third-place in Turn 8.
MIKAEL GRENIER (No. 22 TMR-Xtreme Drilling & Coil-NAPA): "I braked really late on that lap because Karam was pretty close and when I came out and saw my teammate into the wall I couldn't do anything. It is a shame because we had a really hard qualification yesterday and the car was not like we wanted. But for the race Team Moore did a really good job and I think we had a car that sitting well with tires and we would have been really strong in the second part of the race. That is what I was trying to do because the guy in front of me kept locking wheels and pushing hard. And I was just trying to build momentum and go hard for the race and it's a shame now that I have a car in the wall now."
JUAN PABLO GARCIA (No. 2 TMR-International-Euclid Chemical): "My car was very loose since the beginning. I went to turn in and I lost it. It was very loose like that from the beginning in every corner."
Lap 28: #26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 2.0672 seconds.
Lap 30: #26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 1.9998 seconds.
Lap 32: #26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 1.9697 seconds. #8 Karam is third, 12.3212 seconds back.
Lap 34: #26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 1.8254 seconds.
Lap 38: #26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 2.0663 seconds.
Lap 40: WHITE: #26 Munoz leads #7 Chaves by 2.5394 seconds.
Lap 41: CHECKERED. #26 Carlos Munoz wins the Long Beach 100 by 2.2190 seconds.
LEGACY INDY LIGHTS 100 POST-RACE NOTES:
• This is Carlos Munoz' second win of the season and the fourth of his career. He previously won at Edmonton and Auto Club Speedway in 2012 and at Barber Motorsports Park earlier this year.
• This is Andretti Autosport's second win at Long Beach. It won here last year with JR Hildebrand in 2009.
• Gabby Chaves finished second, his career-best finish in Firestone Indy Lights. He finished third at Barber.
• Sage Karam finished third, matching his career-best finish in Firestone Indy Lights. He was also third at St. Petersburg, earlier this season.
• Matthew Di Leo finished fifth in his first Firestone Indy Lights start.
LEGACY INDY LIGHTS 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 Dialy-Ser/Andretti Autosport, winner Long Beach 100): "I saw the crash (on Lap 1) in the mirrors and thought, 'Whoa, it's my two biggest competitors in the championship. I have to finish this race. I don't care if I finish second or third, I'm going to be the points leader.' I just tried to finish the race. I was not pushing. I was not at the limit. My Andretti Autosport team brought me a really great car this weekend." (More Munoz to come)
GABBY CHAVES (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports c/w Curb-Agajanian): "Yeah, I felt like we had a great car. I really got to think my guys and SPM Motorsports, they did a great job with the car. I felt that we had the pace and we were going back and forth but we just couldn't be as consistent as Carlos was. That's the only place where he was making a bit of distance on me. We will keep working on it, we are improving every race so we just got to keep going at."
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 Dialy-Ser/Andretti Autosport, winner Long Beach 100): "In the beginning I think I did a really good start, so Jack got nervous or something and there was a big crash behind me, I don't know what really happened I just saw it in the mirrors. After that it was my race, I knew that Peter and Jack were some of my two biggest competitors on the track for the championship and they were out, so I was taking it easy. The main key was to finish, but it was a really good car for a second victory of the season, I had a really great car. (About key to race): "I knew the key of the race was in the first corner, some drivers say it is the first corner or nothing, and it was a long race. I saw in my mirror behind me, I think it was Jack and Peter and my teammate. It's good for me for the championship because now I am the points leader. I was pushing myself, it was hard to get away from Gabby. I'm really happy for my second win of the year, I can be better and I had a great car again. Thanks to my team, my driver coach and everyone, my family and I hope to continue the same way."
SAGE KARAM (No. 8 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports c/w Curb-Agajanian): "To bounce back from qualifying like that it is a good feeling. I can't thank the Schmidt Peterson Mototsports team enough. They put together a great car for me to go out there and drive and you know, I'm not going to lie I got out of my rhythm there for a minute. About half way through the race I finally got my groove back and we were able to get through some of the carnage on the start. It was pretty crazy going down though Turn 1."
JORGE GONCALVEZ (No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing): "In the beginning, we weren't running as strong as everyone else. I found it hard to hold my line. But we did the best we could and held on to third for quite some time before falling back to fourth. I'm really sad that I didn't get a podium, but for the championship, it's more important to finish the race."
JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports c/w Curb-Agajanian): "I thought I was clear on the inside for the first lap and when I came across there was a car there. It was my fault and I'm sorry to Zach (Veach) and Peter (Dempsey) for ruining their days. It was an awful weekend for me here in Long Beach and I'm sorry for the team that we have another wrecked race car."
MATTHEW DI LEO (No. 56 MDL Racing/RES Precast): "This is my third time in the car and the first time at a real big race track, I had to work out all the kinks and get the first race under my belt. This race was really just for me to get some practice in, not so much to be at the top. Of course, I wanted to be in the top three, but I had to learn first before I get there. Getting fifth is just a bonus." (About spin): "I didn't know how long it takes to get these tires up to temperature, but I never had them at the perfect temperature. When I came around the corner, I just gave it too much throttle and spun myself."
The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Sao Paulo Indy 300 on May 5 on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The race will be telecast live at 11 a.m. (ET) by NBC Sports Network. The IMS Radio Network will also carry the race live on Sirius and XM channels 211. The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Firestone Freedom 100 on May 24. It will be telecast live by NBC Sports Network during its coverage of Carb Day.
|IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach|
|LONG BEACH, Calif. - Results Sunday of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.968 mile Streets of Long Beach, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):|
1. (4) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
2. (11) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
3. (24) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
4. (1) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
5. (12) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 80, Running
6. (18) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevy, 80, Running
7. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 80, Running
8. (17) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
9. (19) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 80, Running
10. (6) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 80, Running
11. (26) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
12. (13) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
13. (16) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
14. (22) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
15. (15) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 80, Running
16. (3) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 80, Running
17. (27) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
18. (23) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 80, Running
19. (21) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 79, Running
20. (8) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 78, Contact
21. (9) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 78, Running
22. (10) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 53, Running
23. (14) AJ Allmendinger, Dallara-Chevy, 51, Mechanical
24. (2) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 49, Contact
25. (5) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 38, Electrical
26. (7) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 34, Contact
27. (20) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 1, Contact
Winners average speed: 85.763
Time of Race: 01:50:08.7155
Margin of victory: Under caution
Cautions: 5 for 16 laps
Lead changes: 4 among 4 drivers
Franchitti 1 - 6
Franchitti 8 - 28
Power 29 - 30
Sato 31 - 80
Point Standings: Castroneves 99, Sato 93, Dixon 89, Andretti 87, Wilson 81, Hunter-Reay 73, Rahal 66, Power 62, de Silvestro 62, Hinchcliffe 61.