Hunter-Reay Wins Long Beach

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, April 18 2010

Ryan Hunter-Reay gave Andretti Autosport its first victory on Sunday. (Photo by Ron McQueeney/Indy Racing League)


Ryan Hunter-Reay won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Sunday to give Andretti Autosport its first-ever victory.

The victory was Hunter-Reay’s second in the series – the first coming in 2008 at Watkins Glen – and it was the first victory of the season for a car not owned by Team Penske.

“This is unbelievable, to put it all together with all the IZOD people here this weekend,” Hunter-Reay said. “This is a race that means a lot to me. This is the ‘Indy 500’ of street courses. I’ve been watching this race since I was a little kid. To do it right now – the timing is unreal. We’ve been working so hard on this IZOD car and on this team. To do it in our fourth race – we feel like we’re just getting started. This is a snowball that is just starting to roll.”

Andretti Autosport is in its first year of competition. The team evolved from Andretti Green Racing, which was bought out and reformed by Michael Andretti after the 2009 season.

Justin Wilson, of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, finished second and Will Power, the Team Penske driver who won two of the first three races of the season and started the Long Beach race from the pole, finished third.

Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing finished fourth and Tony Kanaan, Hunter-Reay’s teammate, was fifth.

“I’m really happy for the team,” Kanaan said. “We finally got a win and Ryan deserved it; he had a good car. The Team 7-Eleven car had a consistent run, not as fast as I would have liked it to be, but we were able to finish in the top-five. All around it was a good day.”

Helio Castroneves of Team Penske, who won the race last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, finished seventh.

Danica Patrick finished 16th, one place ahead of Simona De Silvestro.

It looked like Power was headed to a third 2010 victory early in the race as he built a big lead over Hunter-Reay. But as he came out of the hairpin turn on the Long Beach street course, his car suddenly slowed.

Power had accidently hit the button on the steering wheel which limits the speed of the car during pitting. Hunter-Reay blew past before Power could get his car back up to speed.

After starting the season with four straight road races, the series now enters a four-race stretch of oval races. The first of those is in two weeks at Kansas Speedway. The stretch includes the Indianapolis 500.

Power held onto the points lead and is now 42 ahead of second-place Castroneves. Hunter-Reay is third, one point behind Castroneves.

(This story will be updated shortly)

Results Sunday of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.968-mile Streets of Long Beach circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (2) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

2. (3) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

3. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

4. (8) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

5. (6) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

6. (15) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

7. (4) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

8. (5) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

9. (10) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

10. (16) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

11. (14) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

12. (12) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

13. (11) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

14. (9) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

15. (17) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

16. (20) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

17. (13) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 85, Running

18. (19) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 84, Running

19. (21) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 84, Running

20. (18) Raphael Matos, Dallara-Honda, 84, Running

21. (7) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 65, Contact

22. (22) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 58, Contact

23. (23) Mario Romancini, Dallara-Honda, 58, Contact

24. (24) Bertrand Baguette, Dallara-Honda, 45, Mechanical

25. (25) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 10, Handling

Race Statistics:

Time of Race: 1:47:12.5404

Winners average speed: 93.619

Margin of victory: 5.6931 seconds

Cautions: 1 for 5 laps

Lead changes: 5 among 3 drivers

Lap Leaders: Power 1-16, Hunter-Reay 17-26, Power 27-29, Hunter-Reay 30-56, Dixon 57-58, Hunter-Reay 59-85.

Point Standings: Power 172, Castroneves 130, Hunter-Reay 129, Wilson 125, Dixon 112, Franchitti 112, Briscoe 103, Kanaan 94, Matos 84, Wheldon 83.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, April 18 2010
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