Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Conway avoids carnage to win in Long Beach

Mike Conway avoided a late race pileup to claim his second win in the historic Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

In what was the 40th running of the event, pole sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay held a strong lead in the early stages of the race. Team mate James Hinchliffe battled back from a poor start to recover to second.

The fight was between the Andretti pair of  Hunter-Reay and Hinchcliffe, got closer as the race progressed. Young Josef Newgarden closed down on the pair in the second half of the race, taking the lead as the drivers cycled through their pit stops.

Hunter-Reay attempted an ambitious pass on Newgarden with cold tires once the stops were completed but the move didn't come off and the top three runners were wiped out of the race as the caution flag flew.

With the caution and the late race pit stops out of the way, Scott Dixon was on the point, chased by Conway after the Brit got past St. Petersburg winner Will Power. Conway then took the lead after Dixon pitted with two laps to go to take on fuel.

With all of his push to passes used up, Conway had a fight on his hands but managed to hold off Power to secure Ed Carpenter Racing's second win in the short life of the team.

Rookie Carlos Munoz salvaged some pride for Andretti Autosport with a third placed finish, ahead of fellow Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya who came home a strong fourth place.

Simon Pagenaud had yet another tough race, coming back from an incident with Power to claim fifth place. The collision left the Frenchman angry at the end of the race, and Power was quick to take the blame.

Russian Rookie Mikhail Aleshin put in an impressive drive to come home sixth.

The next round of the Verizon IndyCar Series is the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports park on April 27.

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