MIKE CONWAY/No.20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet won the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Toyota 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Sunday, in a surprise finish. Then leader SCOTT DIXON/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet ran out of gas, not unexpectedly as his team warned him he’d be short. He was – half a lap.
It was a hard-won victory with lots of action and situations. It was a race of attrition, with the survivors finishing.
Finishing second and third were WILL POWER/No.12 Team Penske Racing and Rookie CARLOS MUNOZ/No.34 Andretti Autosport Honda. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/No.2 Team Penske Chevrolet and SIMON PAGENAUD/No.77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda were fourth and fifth.
It looked like Pole sitter RYAN HUNTER-REAY/No.28 Andretti Autosport Honda would win the race, until he was involved in a incident with then-leader JOSEF NEWGARDEN/No.67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda. RHR’s left front hit the right rear of Newgarden, wrecking them both into the wall. RHR had already receiving two bonus points for leading the most laps.
Also taken out in the accident were JAMES HINCHCLIFFE/No.27 Andretti Autosport Honda, TONY KANAAN/No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Rookie JACK HAWKSWORTH/No.98 BHA BMM with Curb Agajanian, and TAKUMA SATO/No.14 AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda, caught out with no place to go. SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA/No.17 KVAFS Racing Chevrolet drove through the incident, perhaps sustaining a broken finger from the debris. He also received a stop and go penalty for overdriving the incident.
Team owner, SARAH FISHER said “Josef is a helluva driver, and we’re behind him one hundred percent.” Team owner, MICHAEL ANDRETTI, who lost two top cars in the incident, said “It’s frustrating. You have to be more patient.” RHR said “A racing driver in the moment going for it. It was my shot to win the race.” Newgarden said “I tried to give him room, and the next thing I was in the wall. That shouldn’t happen up front. “Kanaan said “I had nothing to do with it. Mario told me to be cautious. Basically, whoever started it ….” Dixon said It was some exciting race, but I was half a lap short.” JPM got through the wreckage, saying “I saw the yellow, I backed off, clutch, turn, brake, and tried to avoid it.”
Hinchcliffe sustained a sprained left thumb in the incident, and will be re-evaluated before his next race.
More to follow.