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Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama fast facts

Race weekend: Friday, April 20 – Sunday, April 22 Track: Barber Motorsports Park, a 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course (clockwise) in Birmingham, Alabama Race distance: 90 laps / 207 miles Entry List:  Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (PDF) Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation. Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets…

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News from INDYCAR: ‘What They’re Saying’ from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

What They’re Saying’ from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Well, I think we had a good day working. Certainly at least a podium, but we kept getting bit by yellows a couple times today and had to fight our way back from them. It didn’t work in our favor. It is disappointing I think when you look at the speed of our car. I think we had a capable performance of challenging for a podium, but it didn’t work out. Thanks to Verizon and Team Chevy for making some of this happen and all of our other partners. We will just go to Barber and try and have a smooth weekend and try to get back to the top step of the podium.”

MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Tough race. In the beginning, I thought we didn’t have the pace, I was struggling a little bit but they played the strategy well and we managed to pass some cars [in the hairpin accident].  We restarted in P12, but my tires were gone and the guys behind me were on new reds so it was tough. Anyway, it was the first race we finished on the lead lap so that is good. There are some areas where we need to improve a little bit to be competitive but we’re going to get there. I’m happy for the team and onto the next one. We’ll see how Barber goes.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda, 2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner): “We had everything under the sun thrown at us today, and to come out of it in the top 10, it’s not the result we wanted, but given the circumstances, we can be pretty happy with that. It was a no-give up kind of day. We had a decent start, stayed out of trouble and picked up a couple spots when other guys had some problems, and just out of nowhere, the car went from comfortable understeer to undriveable oversteer. We just started falling through the field like a rock… we’re still not entirely sure what happened. We came in, got some new tires on and went for broke and had a good second stint, made up a bunch of time. Then we were kind of waiting for everyone on the two-stop strategy to cycle through and get some clean track, make up time. After all the two-stoppers pitted, the yellow came out almost right away and we were hosed… we still had to pit for our last stop. From there, we were able to pick up a couple spots again, but for all the things that were thrown at us, we just didn’t stop fighting. The Arrow Electronics guys were great in the pits. We did a great job trying to change strategy on the fly, and overall we’re happy with our top 10. This is the kind of day that keeps you alive in the championship: when it’s very much not your day, but you can still come away with a solid points finish.”

ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): “Pretty tough day. I think that our Lucas Oil car was really quick. We had a pretty good start, capitalized on other people’s mistakes, and I think we were in podium contention until we had a mechanical issue. I’m not entirely sure, but I’m hearing the GCU (gearbox control unit) failed. I got stuck in fifth gear, we couldn’t fix it and obviously trying to fix it under green flag was a nightmare because you just lose so many laps. It’s a shame. The car was really quick on both tires.The car was actually pretty phenomenal on blacks (primary Firestone tires). It’s just unfortunate – two street courses in a row where we should have scored really great points and we leave with basically nothing.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “There’s not much to say really. We got a penalty for entering the pits when it went yellow. It’s really tough to recover from that so late in the race, and when it drops you so far down the order. We had a really strong PNC Bank car today and it’s a shame we didn’t finish off what was looking to be a very strong day.”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Well, Long Beach has been a great track for me in the past. Great fans, great atmosphere…and second to only to the Indy 500 in terms of support in my opinion. It was tough though out there today. We had been struggling with the NTT DATA car on cold tires. Once we got heat in the tires it was better. I’m really pleased with the result though. It’s just my third race with the team and I was able to equal my best result in the Verizon IndyCar Series. I think this gives me and the team a lot of confidence heading into Barber next week and I can’t wait to get started there and see what the weekend holds.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Man, that was just absolutely driving as hard as I could go. On the restarts, I couldn’t get close. I think the Verizon Team Penske car had better top end, but their drive out of the hairpins was really good. I thought I might have a chance, but the thing is with this push-to-pass system is you can use two or three seconds and really look after it out of each corner and you get almost the same benefit. I think they should go back to 10 hits only and then you would see some passing.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Another top 10 – that’s what we wanted. The boys have been getting better on the stops and the car was pretty decent all day. We passed a lot of cars. We got caught on that yellow but unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. Some days it works in your favor, other days it doesn’t. But I’m pleased. We’re building something really cool here and I’m not talking just about results, I’m talking about through all the struggles we’ve been having, it’s making us as people a lot tighter. Everybody is going to want to come drive for A.J. (Foyt) eventually not just because of the results, but because of the people that we have.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Total Honda): “I’m sorry about what happened to Simon (Pagenaud). That’s not how I like to do things. It’s just like St. Pete, the rears (tires) locked up and I barely made the corner. I think (Scott) Dixon bailed out because he thought I wasn’t going to make it. It hurt my race, too, obviously, with getting the penalty, having to go to the back and battle our way through. I think we had a car that could have had a shot at (Alexander) Rossi today. We made some changes for the race and the Total car was fantastic. I’m really disappointed in myself and disappointed in the way that it all began, but I’m proud of the Total team for the way that it finished. We made a lot of passes today. I passed more cars here today that I have passed in a long time. We had a lot of fun, but we want to win. Yes, it’s a good start to the year and with our United Rentals Turns for Troops program, we raised a lot more money. To be third and finish all the laps so far and finish in the top-five a couple of times and get a podium so far is good, but this was our best weekend yet.  We deserved to be there this weekend and that’s why it’s a little bittersweet.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda): “It was such a frustrating day. Full attack, really good car, the SealMaster Honda No. 18 was really hooked up. I had a pretty good feeling in the warm up and the conditions stayed the same for the race. It was a tough call to start on Firestone blacks (primary tire), but I was confident it was the right thing to do as long as I could hold my position at the start and that is exactly what happened. Thankfully, the start was stretched, so I wasn’t under attack until I was up to speed. Then I really started to push hard because I could tell the guys on red tires (alternative tires) were in conservation mode. So, I started to think this could be a pretty good day. I passed a bunch of cars, and when I got to (Scott) Dixon that is when I held station. He was driving really well. He had the pace because he had saved his tires. We got to the first pit sequence and Dixon, I am sure, short filled and jumped (Will) Power. We stayed on schedule and put on red tires, and at that point, it looked like the race was coming our way. Clearly, (Alexander) Rossi was on a different planet, but other than him we were right there. I got Dixon on the restart and Race Control deemed that a violation. I thought that was interesting because I am not quite sure what I was supposed to do. I was committed. There was room and he didn’t see me, so he came down on me and pushed me into the pit lane. If you get forced into the pit lane, I am not sure it is your responsibility. So, I got rather upset, so I passed him right back. I was pretty happy about that. Then we were just cruising. Unfortunately, as a group, we took a chance to stay out too long and then it went yellow. Race Control could have waited a couple seconds before closing the pits, but they didn’t and we went to the back where we had to race idiots. I was racing (Charlie) Kimball side-by-side and he gives me no room, and he bent both of my toe links on the right side. It was pretty much game over from there. I made a mistake because of it trying to pass him again later into Turn 9. The car wouldn’t turn anymore. Then, in the next corner, Jordan King felt like a hero and took us out. After that, I had to deal with another idiot, Matheus Leist, who tried to crash both of us a couple of times. There really wasn’t much to salvage after that. It’s really disappointing. The car was good. I drove the wheels off it. Passed a bunch of guys and we have nothing to show for it.”

ZACHARY CLAMAN DE MELO (No. 19 The Paysafe Car Honda): (What happened): “I was trying to fuel save, I braked a little bit too late and I overcooked the corner and hit the Turn 9 wall. It’s unfortunate because I think we had a good strategy and I think we would have moved up a bit at the end.  The start of the race wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t great, but I just tried to stay out of trouble. I needed to stop a little early because I flat-spotted my front tires on the first lap so the Paysafe Car kind of difficult to drive until we had our first stop, but after that, it was going well, up until I hit the wall.”

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I’m obviously really gutted. You can see where we were racing, we were definitely on for a podium. We can’t control a mechanical failure like we had, so it was out of our hands I suppose. It is just annoying that we could have been on the podium and got nothing from today.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Chevrolet): “That was a disappointing race. Pretty much from the first stint, we were having gearbox issues. It got a lot worse at certain points of the race which ruined our day. We never really got a shot to fight for any positions or move up through the field. The Preferred Freezer Services guys worked hard this weekend and we made some good improvements over the three days, but we came away with not much to show for it. Disappointing, but hopefully we can turn it around at Barber.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): “Terrible day. We didn’t even make one corner. We had a really good start, blocked the run, I went to the outside and we had a good braking point. We were going to be three-wide and I was three-wide on the outside. It’s not like I went on the brake early, and (Graham) Rahal forgot to brake. It was a shame, we had such a competitive car and a fast car all weekend. I feel bad for the DXC Technology people here. The biggest shame is that we can repair the car and go back to earn valuable points for my championship, but the decision from INDYCAR on the stand is very costly for me today.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): “I’ve always said there’s no quit in this team. We just keep making progress and it’s nice to finally be able to have a result to show for it. It was awesome to see how hard the team worked to put together a good race car and I can honestly say that the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet was the best car I’d had around here. We got a little lucky with yellows, but we’ll take some luck with a new team building our foundation in INDYCAR. A lot of credit to the guys though – they’ve worked so hard since October to make this happen. A top-10 finish is a start and hopefully moving forward we can qualify better so we don’t have to work so hard to get back into the top 10 moving forward.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Group One Thousand One Honda): “(Fourth) feels like a win, to be honest. The crew was pushing me pretty hard at the end to try to get on the podium but… after St. Pete, after Phoenix, we’ve just been chipping away on it and we took a big swing at it today. I’ve got to thank my Group One Thousand One guys, honestly. I kind of made a mishap in qualifying to put us 16th. Today we had great strategy, great stops. They got me to where I could capitalize on it so this is more for them than me.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda, 2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner and series points leader): “I think the Watkins Glen car was pretty close to the car we had today, but man this Andretti Autosport team and the NAPA Know How crew. It’s unbelievable to win at Long Beach. I can’t really put into words how good the car was all weekend. I think we proved that and I’m just so glad we were able to capitalize and nothing crazy happened. It’s been a great weekend all around, we announced Crown Royal as a partner, and then we put the NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda in victory lane, getting the win that I think the Military To Motorsports car should have had last weekend in Phoenix. On top of it all, I got to win in my home state of California in front of all my family and friends. It’s a good feeling right now.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “First off, congratulations to Alex (Rossi), he was on rails all weekend. For us on the No. 28, it was a complete nightmare of a day. We had a damaged front wing on the start, came in for a wing change, went to the back and made our way up to fifth place. Then, I think (Takuma) Sato hit my right rear with his wing, we got a puncture and had to come in, and we went to the back. We came back through, again, to 11th and then (Sebastien) Bourdais got spun around in the hairpin. I got stuck in that… and, again, to the back. On the last restart, I was just aggressive and put the power down. The back end stepped out and smacked the wall; we broke the left rear suspension. It was a weekend to forget. The potential was there for the DHL Honda and that makes it sting even more. Great job to my crew, they did everything they needed to. We’ll focus on Barber from here.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “It was a tough race, but it was an exciting one. After the warm up, we made the decision that strategy is one thing, but you have to overtake a lot, so we changed the setup and it worked really well. I was able to overtake one by one. It was a strong car. In the end, we came back and got to sixth just by fighting without anybody’s help, so that was a strong result for us. Unfortunately, after the restart (Ryan) Hunter-Reay got a huge slide in Turn 5 and got grip back and came back towards me and I tried to avoid him. It was really light contact, but unfortunately, that damaged our suspension so we had to pit to replace it. It’s a big shame. It could have been a podium finish with the position we were in but we take some positives away.”

KYLE KAISER (No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet): “Overall, I am happy with where we ended up in the race. There were a couple of mistakes on my part. I had a problem coming out of the pits and had to serve a drive-through (penalty). Then I locked it up going into Turn 1 halfway through the race and we lost a lap doing that. We still managed to finish 16th and move up eight spots. We had really good pace through the race and I know we had a really good race car. I can’t thank the team enough and I cannot thank the guys enough for all of their hard work after qualifying and putting together a good race car. I am really excited for the next race because I know we have a great thing going here and we are just getting better and better every time we get back in the car. Hats off to the team, I’m having a lot of fun racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “Unfortunately, the strategy just didn’t work out in our favor today. We qualified well and the team gave me a good race car in the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet, but we just went the wrong way on a few strategy elements. Even though this isn’t where we wanted to be results-wise after our qualifying and warm-up efforts yesterday and today, I’m still proud of how much we were able to progress throughout the weekend. Now that we have another race weekend under our belts, we’ll be working hard to use what we learned and put everything together heading into Barber.”

JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM MSR w/SPM): “We moved forward and that was the goal for the weekend. We ran well all day and were in seventh when that yellow came out at the absolute wrong time. But you can’t predict those kinds of things happening. We had a good race and we showed what we can do and that we deserve to be here. It’s also a great result for the team and my birthday today. Obviously, it’s Jim’s (Meyer) first race as an official team owner this weekend and I’m really excited for everyone at Meyer Shank Racing. It’s not too often that you can really show your true potential and I think this weekend was a good step in that direction.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “It was a tough day and a tough weekend for us. I think that we did not have the pace to be a top-five car, but we did have the right strategy to be a top-five finisher. It is just unfortunate that the guys we were racing around that were on the same strategy got into those top-five positions. We had a fueling issue in the pits again and lost three or four laps. Now we regroup and figure out how to avoid those mistakes from now on and go from there.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): “We had to just be persistent today. Me and the guys, we just stayed in it and didn’t make mistakes. This race just comes down to attrition sometimes. There are so many corners where you can get taken out if you go too deep – that’s what took me out of qualifying yesterday. I keep saying that as soon as we qualify in the top 10, we’re going to win a race. Congrats to Alex (Rossi) on his win and great job to all my U.S. Concrete guys.”

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race results

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race results

Click HERE to view and download the official race results from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

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

1. (1) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 85, Running
2. (2) Will Power, Chevrolet, 85, Running
3. (13) Ed Jones, Honda, 85, Running
4. (16) Zach Veach, Honda, 85, Running
5. (5) Graham Rahal, Honda, 85, Running
6. (20) Marco Andretti, Honda, 85, Running
7. (6) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 85, Running
8. (11) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 85, Running
9. (8) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 85, Running
10. (23) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 85, Running
11. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 85, Running
12. (17) Jack Harvey, Honda, 85, Running
13. (9) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 85, Running
14. (14) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 85, Running
15. (18) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 84, Running
16. (24) Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 84, Running
17. (15) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 84, Running
18. (12) Jordan King, Chevrolet, 84, Running
19. (19) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 83, Running
20. (7) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 81, Running
21. (22) Takuma Sato, Honda, 74, Running
22. (10) Robert Wickens, Honda, 73, Running
23. (21) Zachary Claman De Melo, Honda, 58, Contact
24. (3) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 0, Contact
                                                            
Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 88.622 mph
Time of Race: 1:53:15.2434
Margin of victory: 1.2413 seconds
Cautions: 4 for 17 laps
Lead changes: 6 among 5 drivers

Lap Leaders:

Rossi 1-24
Power 25-30
Hunter-Reay 31
Rossi 32-55
Bourdais 56-59
Newgarden 60-62
Rossi 63-85

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings:
Rossi 126, Newgarden 104, Rahal 93, Bourdais 88, Hinchcliffe 83, Dixon 79, Hunter-Reay 73, Power 72, Jones 69, Andretti 68.

Rossi dominates Long Beach qualifying to earn Verizon P1 Award

LONG BEACH, California (Saturday, April 14, 2018) – Alexander Rossi wasn’t to be denied in his quest to claim the Verizon P1 Award in qualifying for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Andretti Autosport driver was fastest in all three rounds of knockout qualifications on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street course. He punctuated…

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Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Qualifying Results and “What They are Saying”

Click HERE to view and download the official qualifying results from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. LONG BEACH, California – Qualifying Saturday for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.968-mile Streets of Long Beach circuit, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time and speed in mph in…

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News from INDYCAR: ‘What They’re Saying’ from Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach practice

‘What They’re Saying’ from Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach practice

MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “The car was different to drive, we were having some problems in the turning in mid-corner, but it was also my first day here, learning the track and everything. Tomorrow is a new day, we can only move forward from here. Hopefully, we will have a great car tomorrow, we’ll keep working hard and hope to have a great weekend.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda, 2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner): “It was an up-and-down day. There was a really big change on the track for us from Practice 1 to Practice 2, so we struggled a lot with the car balance this afternoon. It was also really busy out there. It’s not that long of a track; 24 cars all trying to get those runs on reds (Firestone alternate tires) at the end. We only really did one lap, and I’m not sure if we got the best out of it. We’ll see what we have tomorrow. We definitely have a lot to think about overnight, but this Arrow Electronics and entire Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team has done a great job so far this season of putting it together when it counts, and hopefully, we can keep that up.”

ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): “Not the best day for us. It’s still early in the weekend, and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us. From what I remember of St. Pete, we also weren’t that strong through free practice, but we came out good in the end. We’re just going to do look over everything tonight, make some level-headed decisions, and hopefully, we can get the Lucas Oil car up front tomorrow.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “We sat around a lot in the first session and then went out, and things started to move really fast. The PNC Bank car was fast right out of the box. We went out and were quick in our first run, then improved upon that in the second run. It’s a big weekend for Honda here, so we’ll try to get the most out of it for them and for the team. The cars are so fun to drive though. The track is really awesome without the added downforce too. The braking zones are a bit bigger and the power down is impressive especially out of the hairpin corner. I think come around Lap 20, drivers are going to be screaming for new tires around here. It’s great to be back here overall, though. Great cars, great atmosphere and being out there pounding around the Long Beach city streets.”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Obviously not the start to the weekend we wanted with the NTT DATA car. We went one direction this morning and then took another direction toward what Scott (Dixon) and the No. 9 team were doing. We have some work to do tonight, but I’m confident we can make the right changes and be up there closer to the front tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Decent day…trying to find the right setup. This morning was a little bit better than this afternoon. We tried a couple different things – a big swing just to see. Friday we have two free sessions so we’re learning for tomorrow. We have a lot of work to do, but we’re still up there. We just have to keep working to improve a little bit more. All in all, it was a trouble-free day, which is quite good.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Total Honda): “It was an OK day. I think the Total Honda was good right off the bat on blacks (Firestone primary tires) comparatively. When we went to reds (Firestone alternate tires), I think we lost the handling a little bit. We also had a really poor out lap. We were trying to get a big gap (on track ahead). We went out too early, and I didn’t even get to get any temperature in them, and I think the reds are only spectacular on one lap and we just missed it. Unfortunately, that was that. Saturday is a new day, so hopefully we can improve the Total Honda slightly and go from there. We have some work to do to catch some of the guys up front, but overall it was a good day. The car is not bad, but it’s not quite good enough. We will keep working away to try our best to get a car capable of winning here. It was a textbook Long Beach Grand Prix day; great weather and a great crowd.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda): “It was an interesting day overall for the Team SealMaster Honda No. 18. We are not exactly there yet, but I don’t know that anybody is really happy with their car. This afternoon the track temp was very high…115, 116 range, so this place, like most others, tends to be quite greasy when it gets that hot. I had one good lap going, which got a yellow flag, and that was that. I’m not exactly sure where we sit because I definitely didn’t get a good lap on the board. I think on a one-lap performance the car doesn’t seem too bad, but it seems to degrade pretty fast. We will take a look at the data and see what we want to do for tomorrow, but it is not easy. We have to keep searching.”

ZACHARY CLAMAN DE MELO (No. 19 The Paysafe Car Honda): (About his thoughts on the track) “It’s a really fun track. I’m really enjoying myself but I need to keep working on getting better. It’s a difficult track and I think most of the rookies are struggling with it from what I saw of the lap times.” (About his day): “It was a tough day and there’s some work to do, but we have another practice session tomorrow before qualifying and we’re going to use it to keep learning as much as possible.”

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “There’s definitely potential with our Preferred Freezer Services Chevy this weekend. We had an issue with the gearbox in the second practice that kind of prevented us from getting many laps. We then put a backup stack in that wasn’t optimum for what we were trying to do. That cost us a little bit, but we made good process with the balance of the car from Practice 1 to Practice 2. Hopefully we can make a similar step tomorrow.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Chevrolet): “It was good to learn the circuit and get into it. There’s still quite a ways to go on my side and sorting the car out. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a run on reds (Firestone alternate tires), so it’s still a bit of an unknown going into qualifying. It’s a bit annoying, it would have been nice to be able to learn a little bit more about the reds. Then again, we had the same thing happen in St. Pete and that worked out alright.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): “We worked through a lot of changes today. Max (Chilton) was pretty good this morning, so we went more his direction with the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet. We had a couple of issues in the first practice, but we got those cleaned up for the second practice and introduced a few new issues in the second practice that we’ll need fix overnight. We had a yellow flag on what was going to be my best lap early in the second session. We can learn from what we did today and get everything ready to go for qualifying tomorrow. I think the conditions tomorrow are going to be pretty similar to today and then cooler on race day, so we’ll just have to adjust best as we can and move forward from there.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Group One Thousand One Honda): “Overall, I think it was a good first day here. Phoenix went better than St. Pete and so far, this weekend has been going better than Phoenix. So just one step at a time. I think we definitely have the speed to transfer tomorrow to the fast 12, and maybe even a chance to get to our first Firestone Fast 6. The Andretti cars are pretty quick – (Alexander) Rossi and (Ryan) Hunter-Reay are showing that – I have a little bit of learning to do tonight, but I’m excited to show what we can do tomorrow.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “It was good to be P1 in Practice 2, it’s where you want to end the day on Friday. To have two team cars 1-2 is pretty awesome. We have a lot of motivation after last year to come back and really be strong here this year. We have a lot of work ahead of us still, and hopefully we can continue that over the next two days. Our main focus right now is trying to win Long Beach and get redemption on last year.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Without a doubt this is one of my favorite races – love the place, love the layout, love everything about it. The fans, the energy, the atmosphere here are all great. We’ve had some great cars here, I’ve been very fortunate to be behind the wheel of some very fast race cars here – last year being one of them. We were closing on (James Hinchcliffe), right up on his gearbox, when the car shut off for some reason – an electrical issue. We feel like we have some unfinished business here, and I think today was a pretty good start at finishing that. We are going to need to find a gap between the cooler track temps and when it heated up. It became quite a bit more difficult to get the lap time out of the car, so we have a bit of a challenge there, but it seems like everybody has their work set out for them.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “We made good progress today. It was a productive day until the end of the session. We have more work to do because the lap time is not representative of what we feel we can get out of it. We made good progress from the first session and hopefully we will continue that tomorrow.”

KYLE KAISER (No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet): “I’d say we made an improvement from the first session into the second session. I’m really happy with the team and we are working well together. We are trying a lot of different stuff and with the lack of testing we have had its hard to pinpoint how to make the car better. We are having to experiment a lot, which has put us a little bit behind the rest of the field. All and all, they are doing a great job. I feel like there is a lot to learn from this. I am looking forward tomorrow. I think we are going to make some changes and try something different for the next session and hope we can find some more speed before qualifying.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “It’s great to be back in Long Beach. I love this track, really any street course in general. We’ve been trying to build on a car setup without changing anything too fundamental and just get laps under our belts. We’ve learned that the reds (Firestone alternate tires) aren’t that strong around here, which I think everyone is seeing. We just need to take a look at the car tonight and make it better overnight for qualifying tomorrow.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “It has been a trying day so far. We have had to deal with some issues that were kind of like a curve ball being thrown at us and put us behind where we wanted to be. It has been frustrating, but I think we can utilize this afternoon to analyze what we need to do to improve and be where we should be from where we left off at St. Pete and take it from there. I’m looking forward to getting back on track tomorrow.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): “It was a difficult day to say the least. We’re definitely dealing with a mechanical issue – I am convinced I have a carry-over issue that has not yet been identified from Phoenix. We’ve tried some different things out, but unfortunately haven’t found a solution yet. Once we pinpoint what exactly is going on, I know we’ll have a fast car. Our teammates are proving we have the setup, so we really just need to fix the issue. We really want to give this U.S. Concrete car a good run.”

News from INDYCAR: Dixon leads veteran presence atop Long Beach practice chart

Dixon leads veteran presence atop Long Beach practice chart

LONG BEACH, California (Friday, April 13, 2018) – Being a past winner of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach paid off in practice today for Sunday’s 35th Indy car race on the famous street course in Southern California.

All seven prior race winners entered this year finished in the top 10 on the combined timesheet for the two sessions on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit. Scott Dixon, the 2015 Long Beach race winner, was quickest for the day with a lap of 1 minute, 8.4112 seconds (103.562 mph) logged in the first of the 45-minute practices.

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH: Practice 1 results; Practice 2 results; Combined practice results

Many drivers, Dixon included, were surprised that lap times in the second session were slower overall, even though each team ran a set of the softer Firestone alternate tires.

“This afternoon was definitely a bit of a different story; really struggled with front grip,” said Dixon, the four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion whose 41 career wins rank fourth on the all-time list. “It seemed like the temperature really affected our car.

“There were a couple others that went quite fast in that session on the red (alternate) tires, and I actually had to do almost a long run on my reds to get them to work. I think I did my quickest time on Lap 7 or 8 (of the stint). It was kind of an interesting session for us, but I think the car is kind of there. It’s just going to take a little bit to get it right.”

Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay – the 2010 Long Beach winner – was second quick with a first-session lap of 1:08.4285 (103.536 mph) in the No. 28 DHL Honda. Alexander Rossi, Hunter-Reay’s teammate driving the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda, led the second practice and was third for the day, at 1:08.5567 (103.342 mph).

“We’re going to need to find that gap was Scott was referring to between the cooler track temps and when it heated up,” said Hunter-Reay, the 2012 series champion. “It became quite a bit more difficult to get the lap time out of the car. Kind of a bit of a challenge there. It seems like everybody has their work set out for them.”

Other previous Long Beach winners who landed in the top 10 in practice today were: Simon Pagenaud, fourth in the No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet; defending Long Beach winner James Hinchcliffe, fifth in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda; Takuma Sato, sixth in the No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda; Will Power, eighth in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet; and Sebastien Bourdais, 10th in the No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda.

Meanwhile, newcomers to the track spent the day feeling their way around it. Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach was best of the seven rookies, 13th on the overall chart.

“The car was different to drive – we were having some problems in the turning in mid-corner – but it was also my first day here, learning the track and everything,” said Matheus “Matt” Leist, who was 23rd of the 24 drivers in the No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. “Tomorrow is a new day, we can only move forward from here.”

A final 45-minute practice prior to qualifying starts at 1:45 p.m. ET Saturday and streams live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. The battle for the Verizon P1 Award, featuring three rounds of progressive knockout qualifications, begins at 6:30 p.m. and airs live on NBCSN.

Live coverage of the 85-lap race commences at 4 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Davison named to Indy 500 entry with Foyt, Byrd, Hollinger, Belardi

James Davison became the 35th confirmed driver for next month’s Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil when he was named today to drive the No. 33 Chevrolet entered by AJ Foyt Racing along with partners Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, Hollinger MotorSport and Belardi Auto Racing.

Davison, a 31-year-old Australian, will be attempting to qualify for his fourth Indy 500.

“I am honored to be driving for the legendary A.J. Foyt with Byrd-Hollinger-Belardi at the Indianapolis 500,” said Davison. “This will be my first full program in the four years that I have been a part of the event now. We have expectations to meet and I cannot wait to get after it.”

Davison’s Indianapolis 500 performance last year as a substitute for the injured Sebastien Bourdais caught the attention of the Byrd brothers, who put together the deal for this year. The brothers are sons of the late Jonathan Byrd, who first entered a car in the Indy 500 33 years ago.

“The Byrd family is excited to once again partner with the AJ Foyt Racing team, together with Brad Hollinger and Brian Belardi, to give James Davison the opportunity to win the Indy 500,” said David Byrd, a principal of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing.

Davison’s entry is the third for AJ Foyt Racing, paired with full-season drivers Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist.

The announcement of Davison’s entry follows that of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which named JR Hildebrand on Wednesday to drive the team’s No. 66 Chevrolet with sponsorship from Salesforce. Hildebrand will be paired with Sage Karam in the No. 24 WIX Filters Chevrolet as Dreyer & Reinbold fields two Indy 500 entries for the first time since 2011.

“We’ve had 37 cars start the Indy 500 over the past close to 20 years now,” team owner Dennis Reinbold said. “We’re looking forward to adding to that number and really going out there and trying to do whatever we can to win the race.”

Hinchcliffe gets lift from taking a dive at Aquarium of the Pacific

James Hinchcliffe is accustomed to G-forces in an Indy car sticking him to the ground. The Verizon IndyCar Series driver experienced a welcome opposite sensation when he conducted the first underwater news conference in Indy car racing history on Wednesday at the Aquarium of the Pacific adjacent to the Long Beach circuit.

An experienced scuba diver, Hinchcliffe made the 82-foot plunge to the bottom of the Honda Blue Cavern at the aquarium, mingling with the different fish species in the 142,000-gallon tank while answering media questions via an elaborate audio system inside his scuba gear.

“It’s like negative G-force down there,” Hinchcliffe said, still awash in a smile after emerging from the tank. “It’s awesome. In the car, we’re getting tossed around and there is a lot of force on the body. Down there, you are as light as a feather. You float around.

“It’s one step from being in outer space. It’s about as few G’s as you can experience on the planet.”

As he answered questions from media standing outside the tank, Hinchcliffe also “talked” with fish swimming past. He felt right at home in the Honda Blue Cavern’s waters set to represent those in the nearby Pacific Ocean, even if he hasn’t been diving on the West Coast.

“That was awesome!” said Hinchcliffe, the defending Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner. “I’m a fish at heart. I love any chance I get to get in the water.

“That was definitely cooler temperatures than I’m used to diving in, but they kept me nice and prepared and well-dressed for it. Getting to see (the wildlife) that is local to the area is very cool, as I haven’t really done much diving on this coast and this side of the country. To be able to have that (special full-face) mask on and be able to talk to everyone that was out there was really cool.”

Castroneves, Montoya earn spots on Long Beach Walk of Fame

Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya were forever immortalized at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Thursday. The Indy car greats, each a past winner of the popular street race, had plaques commemorating their winning history added to the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame. Both drivers are competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this weekend for Team Penske on the 1.968-mile temporary street course.

Castroneves raced Indy car 13 times at Long Beach between 1998 and 2017, scoring a victory in 2001 and sitting on the pole three straight times from 2015-17. The 42-year-old Brazilian holds the track lap record of 1 minute, 6.2254 seconds (106.980 mph) set last year in Verizon P1 Award qualifying.

“It’s an honor, no question,” said Castroneves, the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner who will return to the Verizon IndyCar Series next month for the two races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Just seeing the names of people who are already a part of the Wall of Fame, it just blows my mind away. In 1996, when I came over here in Indy Lights, my first race ever (was at Long Beach). I wasn’t even thinking about it and, all of a sudden, I’m being inducted and being a part of amazing sport legends.”

Montoya won the 1999 Long Beach race – his first of 15 Indy car wins – on his way to the CART season championship. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner drove in five Indy car races at Long Beach.

The 42-year-old from Bogota, Colombia, enjoyed following his boss, team owner Roger Penske, who was added to the Walk of Fame in 2016.

“It’s unbelievable,” Montoya said. “I came here two years ago to see Roger get inducted. It was huge, huge names here. You don’t realize when you race and you win races, you never do it to be here. To get recognized for everything that you’ve done, it’s amazing.”

Rutherford surprised by Road Racing Drivers Club honor

Johnny Rutherford came to Indy car racing after success racing midgets and sprint cars as part of USAC’s championship trail in the late 1950s and early ’60s. So, pardon him if he was a bit confused when told he was chosen as the honoree for this year’s Road Racing Drivers Club dinner in Long Beach.

“I wondered why. What did I do?” the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner joked at Thursday night’s event. “Me and the Road Racing Drivers Club? Come on.”

“Lone Star JR” was the latest racing legend honored at the RRDC event, the 10th annual dinner that drew luminaries from around the racing world, including Mario Andretti, Chip Ganassi and drivers with the same background as Rutherford – Sleepy Tripp and Ken Schrader.

“This has given me a chance to think about what I’ve done,” said Rutherford, whose only Indy car road course win among his 27 career victories came at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 1980. “I’ve had a good time. I love that all of this and the honors that have come. I had fun road racing and enjoyed my time in racing with all the different people.”

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, April 13 – Sunday, April 15 Track: 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course (clockwise) in Long Beach, California Race distance: 85 laps / 167.28 miles Entry List:  Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (PDF) Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation. Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Rookie…

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‘What They’re Saying’ from the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix

‘What They’re Saying’ from the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 2018 Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix winner): “We had everything, we had the whole package with Team Chevy power. We had the fuel mileage from Team Chevy that we needed. Just being able to have Verizon on the car finally and get victories for them feels so good. They’ve done so much for the sport and for Team Penske. It’s a Team Penske win tonight, I’ll tell you that. It wasn’t me. This was a team effort tonight that got it done.”

MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “My first oval done, my first complete race in the Verizon IndyCar Series done, so lots of new stuff learned. We made a lot of passes which was good, not too many guys were passing. I was feeling good physically in the car, I’m not tired at all. Today wasn’t our day, wasn’t my day, but I want to say thanks to the team. I think we had a car to finish in the top seven. On to Long Beach now.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda): “Not the ending we wanted, but that last restart starting second – huge credit to the team. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have done an incredible job since the test here in February when we were at the bottom [of the time sheets], to get two cars in the top six in both qualifying and the race. Huge congrats to Robbie (Wickens) on his first podium. I think the Arrow Electronics guys really did an incredible job today, picked up a lot of spots on pit lane which is huge for a short oval like this. Restarting second on that last restart, I thought maybe we had a shot at it. We took a gamble, other guys took a gamble – it’s tough to tell how it went in terms of stopping for tires on the last restart; Alex [Rossi], Robbie and I decided not to. Ultimately the new tire guy won, but track position is key at a place like this, and we made a call – that call was right. I’m proud of the guys. Stinks to lose a couple spots so late in the race like that when we were running at the top all day, but good points day, and huge for the team.”

ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): “It’s a dream come true. All I wanted to do was finish every lap of my oval debut. So, to come home P2 and even lead tonight, you can never expect that as a rookie. It’s so hard here, but the team did a great job. The car was great all day. James (Hinchcliffe) and I were quick so I think it’s really encouraging for things to come.” (About if there was anything he could do to hold off Josef Newgarden): “I did as much as I could without crashing both of us, so I don’t think there’s any stopping him. I think once he built up the courage to just out brake me around the outside, it was pretty easy. But congratulations to him. You know, these INDYCAR races are so much longer than what I’m used to. It’s confusing. I didn’t know where he was at one point and then he popped up in the lead and (Ed) Jones got ahead of me there. But I’m still happy with how it turned out.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “We just didn’t get the run we needed to on (Alexander) Rossi there at the end when it counted. All in all, it was a good day for us. The weekend didn’t start out great, but we survived with the PNC Bank car and got some good points tonight.”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Obviously it was a long race and we didn’t know what to expect coming in with the NTT DATA car. The car actually handled a little better than expected. The tire degradation wasn’t that bad and my guys did some great pit stops tonight. Every time we came in we made up positions. I just got into the turn, and it just started going straight and there was nothing I could do. We were second and having a great run, and I’m looking forward to improving upon that and getting better for the next race.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I was having a good race, actually. I felt like we had a pretty good Verizon Chevy. (Alexander) Rossi ran up on the inside of me pretty late and I got on the brakes once I saw him go to the inside because I knew the marbles were pretty bad. I was going pretty slow and still got up into the wall because it was like being on ice. Disappointed for the guys, but we will just have to move on, have a couple of good races and get back in the hunt. I am determined for Long Beach, Barber, the Indy road course and the Indy 500. Happy to see Josef (Newgarden) in victory lane tonight, though.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “It was a big improvement for the team. We’ve been aiming to finish in the top 10 and we did that tonight. We have our struggles, and there are things we need to fix and we’re doing it one piece at a time. I think we had a great weekend. We were in the top six all weekend long. I’m happy with the progress, but there’s a lot more work to do.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 One Cure Honda): “It wasn’t bad. I’m a little disappointed that we lost spots there. We were trying to go really long on our stints – which was the whole goal – and frankly, it should have worked.  There were a couple of times there that yellows should have come out and they didn’t, and because of that, we paid the price running on old tires. Strategy and history shows that that’s the best way to do it, so we stuck to our plan but it didn’t quite work out today, but ultimately we got a top 10 for the One Cure team and that’s a heck of a lot better than we did last year here. We will just keep our heads down and keep pounding away. We’re not bad, but we need to continue improving on a day-to-day basis. We need to show up close (to the right setup) at Long Beach and we should be able to.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda, pole sitter): “We were pretty much in control of the race and things were looking good. Then the first and almost only yellow came out. We paraded around for two or three laps and all I was thinking about was hitting my marks when we pitted. I didn’t scrub my tires. I didn’t pay attention that my tires loaded up with a bunch of junk and next thing I knew I was on the concrete in the pit lane. I tried to slow down and locked up the wheels instantly and nothing happened. Nothing. I just skated and two guys left with me. That was the failed moment of the race because after that there were no yellows until all the pit stops were completed. So, that was that. We just never recovered from going down a lap because of the drive-through penalty. I made a bunch of passes and recovered a decent amount of positions, but nothing to put us where we belonged. So, pretty disappointing overall for sure.”

PIETRO FITTIPALDI (No. 19 The Paysafe Car Honda): “We were running well, but then I caught a group of cars and I ran a bit hard. There was a lot of turbulence, and with that group of cars I wasn’t expecting that much difference, and the Paysafe car just went away from me. Once you get in the gray, you just go straight into the wall.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “This was really a race where you had to race your own car. We were able to get a top 10 out of it and stayed on the lead lap, which is really hard to do when you start at the back on a short oval. We were just trying to have a clean race. I felt like that would give us a chance to work forward and it mostly did. We just ran out of steam at the end. I screwed up a little bit on my in-lap on the second-to-last pit stop and that maybe cost us a position. Then, I just couldn’t get Hinch (James Hinchcliffe) after that last restart. I really don’t like the blocking rules on ovals, I don’t think there’s a place for it in oval racing. We can’t seem to get away from it, but it is what it is. There’s a lot of positives to take away from this. The Fuzzy’s Vodka guys had great pit stops all night. We ended last season on some bad luck, so it’s nice to be able to roll the car on the truck. We have a little more work to do on our short oval package, but I’ll take tonight’s finish.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “That was definitely a difficult race. At the beginning, it was so tricky and I was really on edge. We made the car a bit better throughout the race. We just struggled with having the grip and balance to get close to guys and run in the pack after the peak grip of the tires wore off. The good thing is we finished the race and brought the car home. Now we have to look forward to Long Beach and get back to running up at the front.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, 2017 Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix winner): “We practiced on pit road all weekend long, and I don’t know, for some reason it was super slippery tonight. I was honestly taking it easy on pit road because I knew that I had good track position and a good car. There was no need to push the limits. There was nothing I could have done differently in that situation. In fact, I’ve been replaying it over in my head and I would have done the same thing every time. It is what it is and we got shuffled back and had to make the best of it, but the car had too much understeer. I couldn’t get rid of it. It was better at the end of the race, but it was too late at that point. Congrats to Josef (Newgarden) and Team Penske on getting a win early in the season. A little disappointed and frustrated though because we had a good car this weekend.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): “Tonight’s race was definitely a step in the right direction for us. We made some progress with the set-up and by the end of the race the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet felt the best it had all weekend. We learned a lot and we got a huge amount of information that will help us moving forward.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Group One Thousand One Honda): “I’m extremely thankful. I think we had a much better showing tonight than in St. Pete. It was really hard to fight for 16th. We had a small mishap at the end, running 13th or 12th so I think we should have finished a little bit better. My Group One Thousand One guys have done a great job all weekend. We started a little behind with a mechanical issue earlier in the weekend and in qualifying. Starting last was tough, but we did the best we could to work through the field. The important thing, as Michael says, is every race I just have to complete every lap. We completed every lap here, and in St. Pete. If we do that, we’ll be pretty strong at the end of the year.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 MilitaryToMotorsports.com Honda): “We had a strong start but then had a mishap on the first stop. It was unfortunate, but the important thing is that my crew is okay, that’s always my first concern. I didn’t challenge the box that hard, it was a stop under yellow so there wasn’t a need to – I went to turn right to line up and (the car) just went straight. Then we didn’t get the yellow we needed, so we had to completely unlap ourselves and come back through the field. The Military To Motorsports Honda was by far the best car on track, I think, and it deserved to win. It wasn’t meant to be today, but I’m happy to stand on the podium.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “I’m disappointed not to finish P2 tonight. I think we had the car to do that. A top five is nice, but we’re looking for podiums and wins. We had some issues in the pits tonight. I made a mistake on the first one – then we pitted a little bit too early, a little bit too late on one of them. But, it was an exciting race at the end and congrats to Josef on the win and to Alexander on the podium. I just wish we would have gone green a little bit sooner there at the end of the race; that would have made the show, I think. I’m not really sure what took so long that time to get back to green, but definitely a shame to not get back at it soon and have more time to get the DHL Honda to the podium it deserved.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “It was a tough weekend.  After we had the positive test, we came here and had a difficult time. Going into qualifying there were so many unknowns and we had to change the car so much. After that, it was the same scenario in the race. I never got comfortable. It was very tough out there, and in the end, the strategy did not play out well. We started 13th and finished 11th, so not a good weekend at all. The timing of the pit stop was key and I think we stayed out too long. When the tires started to go off, there was quite a battle. I was able to overtake a few cars.  It was a frustrating night.”

KYLE KAISER (No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet): “Obviously, I’m a little disappointed with the way things ended, but I am extremely happy with how the car was and effort from the team. I think we had a really nice race car. We had strong pace and were running times with the guys who were running up front. The Chevy engine was great the whole time. We had some good runs and got some good passes in and I learned a ton. I’m a rookie with a rookie team, so we are out here on a super steep learning curve. Being able to go out there and run that many laps and learn as much as I did was very valuable. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car at Long Beach and building on what we learned from this weekend.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “It was a tough weekend for the team, but every time we’re on track we’re learning and making progress. That race was just tough. We didn’t qualify well and starting so far back on the grid on a track that’s already difficult to pass on made it even harder to gain any positions. By the end of the race we had quite good pace, we just couldn’t move forward at all. I’m ready to move on from tonight’s race and get to Long Beach to see what we can do there.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “It was a long and trying night for us. In spite of not having the race we wanted to have, we were able to learn a lot of things that will help us develop the car and move forward faster. We hung in there, learned and gained a lot. Now we’ll keep our heads up and look forward to the next one, turn the page and keep moving forward to Long Beach.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 Oberto Circle K / Curb Honda): “Nice work to the Oberto Circle K crew for getting me in and out of the pits smoothly all night. We had a big day ahead of us from the start, starting 20th after a dropped skid in qualifying. Tonight, I think we were just down on COP all day. The number was just so low that we didn’t trust it – I think we were around five percent low off of what my teammates were running. We were just way behind on front wing all day and just kind of hanging on. I’m not thrilled to finish P12, but with what we were working with all day it was a decent result for us. We put the 98 to its limits tonight for sure.”

Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix results

Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix results

Click HERE to view and download the official race results from the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix.

AVONDALE, Arizona – Results Saturday of the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.022-mile ISM Raceway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (7) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 250, Running
2. (6) Robert Wickens, Honda, 250, Running
3. (4) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 250, Running
4. (17) Scott Dixon, Honda, 250, Running
5. (8) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 250, Running
6. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 250, Running
7. (18) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 250, Running
8. (9) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 250, Running
9. (12) Graham Rahal, Honda, 250, Running
10. (2) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 250, Running
11. (13) Takuma Sato, Honda, 250, Running
12. (20) Marco Andretti, Honda, 249, Running
13. (1) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 249, Running
14. (15) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 249, Running
15. (19) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 249, Running
16. (23) Zach Veach, Honda, 249, Running
17. (22) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 248, Running
18. (21) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 247, Running
19. (16) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 241, Running
20. (11) Ed Jones, Honda, 228, Contact
21. (14) Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 174, Contact
22. (3) Will Power, Chevrolet, 153, Contact
23. (10) Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda, 40, Contact

Race Statistics:
Winner’s average speed:  147.395
Time of Race: 1:44:00.3552
Margin of victory: 2.9946 seconds
Cautions: 2 for 23 laps
Lead changes: 12 among 9 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Bourdais, Sebastien 1 – 43
Power, Will 44 – 123
Rahal, Graham 124 – 128
Hinchcliffe, James 129 – 148
Wickens, Robert 149 – 177
Hunter-Reay, Ryan 178 – 182
Pagenaud, Simon 183 – 185
Rahal, Graham 186 – 187
Rossi, Alexander 188
Bourdais, Sebastien 189 – 205
Newgarden, Josef 206 – 231
Wickens, Robert 232 – 246
Newgarden, Josef 247 – 250

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings:
Newgarden 77, Rossi 72, Bourdais 70, Rahal 63, Hunter-Reay 62, Hinchcliffe 61, Dixon 60, Wickens 57, Kanaan 43, Andretti 40.

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    • Long Beach’s Grand Prix report is $150K worth of obvious points
      That report was made public Monday afternoon, and it’s loaded with an absence of surprises, although there are a few bits of weirdness involved. Rather than submit what KPMG said would be an ideal computer-aided design plan for the proposed F1 track that would identify all mandatory components required following FIA (the governing body of […]
    • Here’s who won the race between Formula 1 and IndyCar in Long Beach
      In October last year the city released a request for proposals seeking “an open-wheel auto racing format” to run the annual Grand Prix event. From the start it was only a two-horse race between Michaelian and Pook. Pook, of course, was hardly a carpetbagger. He founded the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1975 and brought […]
    • Q&A: Printup talks future of WGI, IndyCar, Phish
      Everybody was excited, but I take a lot of personal interest in IndyCar. I always have. I kind of grew up in IndyCar, so I was glad that we were able to get them back. The fans themselves, for only having a little bit less than 90 days to sell the race last year, we […]
    • Rick Mears – still the ultimate pro at 65
      Over the past 20-something years writing about racing, I’ve encountered three people from whom I learn something about the art of racecar driving every time we speak for longer than five minutes. One of that trio is Rick Ravon Mears, born this day 65 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and brought up in Bakersfield, Calif. […]
    • Memoir helps widow cope after IndyCar driver's death
      Tonya Bergeson-Dana talks with her son, Conor, about his father when he brings it up, which is often. If he’s asking the questions, she reasons, he’s ready to hear the answers. Paul Conor Dana, at age 9, knows that his father was Paul Dana, a journalist and IndyCar driver who died in March 2006 during […]