Hinchcliffe races to Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach victory

LONG BEACH, Calif. – James Hinchcliffe stole hearts in Southern California last fall with a runner-up effort on “Dancing with the Stars,” and the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver did one better in his return by claiming victory at today’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 5 Arrow Honda, held off Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing by 1.4940 seconds to collect his fifth career Verizon IndyCar Series win and first in nearly two years. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden rounded out the podium in third place.

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH:Unofficial results

Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves led the field to the green flag in the No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet, but was quickly swallowed up as the three-time Indy 500 champion sank to sixth on the first lap while Scott Dixon assumed the early lead in the No. 9 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

The often-chaotic Turn 1 at Long Beach went without issue, but shortly thereafter, Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) and Charlie Kimball (No. 83 Tresiba Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) made contact in Turn 4, ending Kimball’s day and relegating Power to the rear of the field.

Dixon led the field to the follow restart before pitting on Lap 16, when Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda) took the lead as the field ran through relatively routine pit cycles.

On their second round of stops, Hinchcliffe went one lap farther than Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi (No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda), allowing the Canadian to cycle to the front of the group. After Dixon and Newgarden (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) pitted on Lap 62, Hinchcliffe was in front to stay.

The second caution of the day came at the expense of Rossi, whose Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian entry suffered a mechanical problem, eliminating the California native from the running for his second career podium.

With the lead, Hinchcliffe rocketed to extend his lead on the restart and looked poised to claim victory as the laps clicked off. But with seven laps to go, Hunter-Reay, who was chasing the Mayor of Hinchtown, saw his hopes for a win go up in smoke as he suffered electrical problems and was forced to retire in 17th. None of the four Andretti entries finished today’s race.

Restarting with three laps to go, Hinchcliffe was not to be denied. He ran off to a comfortable cushion on Bourdais (No. 18 Trench Shoring Honda) and held on. The victory is Hinchcliffe’s first on a temporary street course since his maiden win at St. Petersburg in 2013. It was the sixth win for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and its first at the famed Long Beach track.

The Verizon IndyCar Series is back at it April 21-23 with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the gorgeous Barber Motorsports Park. Coverage for the race can be found on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network at 3 p.m. ET on April 23.

Source: INDYCAR.com

 

2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach: Unofficial Results

Pos SP Car Driver C/A/E/T Lap Down Down Stops Elapsed Time Avg Speed Pts Running/Reason Out

1 4 5 Hinchcliffe, James D/H/H/F 85 0 –.—- 2 01:50:28.9818 90.845 51 Running

2 12 18 Bourdais, Sebastien D/H/H/F 85 0 1.4940 3 01:50:30.4758 90.824 40 Running

3 8 2 Newgarden, Josef D/C/C/F 85 0 2.3160 3 01:50:31.2978 90.813 35 Running

4 2 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/H/F 85 0 2.7832 3 01:50:31.7650 90.807 35 Running

5 21 1 Pagenaud, Simon D/C/C/F 85 0 3.3934 3 01:50:32.3752 90.798 30 Running

6 13 19 Jones, Ed (R) D/H/H/F 85 0 5.7951 3 01:50:34.7769 90.765 28 Running

7 14 14 Munoz, Carlos D/C/C/F 85 0 6.9393 3 01:50:35.9211 90.750 26 Running

8 19 20 Pigot, Spencer D/C/C/F 85 0 9.0570 3 01:50:38.0388 90.721 24 Running

9 1 3 Castroneves, Helio D/C/C/F 85 0 9.3403 4 01:50:38.3221 90.717 23 Running

10 6 15 Rahal, Graham D/H/H/F 85 0 17.8632 3 01:50:46.8450 90.601 20 Running

11 15 21 Hildebrand, JR D/C/C/F 84 1 – 3 01:49:33.0979 90.539 19 Contact

12 16 7 Aleshin, Mikhail D/H/H/F 84 1 – 3 01:49:35.0000 90.380 18 Running

13 9 12 Power, Will D/C/C/F 84 1 – 5 01:50:48.0027 89.519 17 Running

14 20 8 Chilton, Max D/H/H/F 84 1 – 4 01:50:48.4542 89.513 16 Running

15 11 10 Kanaan, Tony D/H/H/F 84 1 – 6 01:50:49.0126 89.506 15 Running

16 17 4 Daly, Conor D/C/C/F 84 1 – 5 01:50:49.7714 89.495 14 Running

17 3 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/H/H/F 79 6 – 2 01:41:38.5661 91.776 14 Off Course

18 18 26 Sato, Takuma D/H/H/F 78 7 – 4 01:40:46.3691 91.396 12 Off Course

19 5 98 Rossi, Alexander D/H/H/F 62 23 – 2 01:15:43.3798 96.681 11 Mechanical

20 10 27 Andretti, Marco D/H/H/F 14 71 – 1 00:20:31.8548 80.519 10 Off-Course

21 7 83 Kimball, Charlie D/H/H/F 1 84 – 0 00:02:25.6236 48.651 9 Contact






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