Notes taken during the NBC Sports Network broadcast of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 21, 2013.
Welcome to Long Beach. Have some lovely Chablis and chill. pressdog® DRINK, ye BASTARDS® Beer of the Race is Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA proudly brewed in Chico, California.
Cue the HAT (running order at the top of the screen). Word up to my posse in the B Unit (creates the on-screen graphics and runs the hat). I picture them in the truck wearing huge surfer shorts and flip-flops all like “dude, tasty race.”
SP Car Driver Name C/E/T Tire
1 10 Franchitti, Dario D/H/F Alternate
2 1 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/C/F Alternate
3 12 Power, Will D/C/F Alternate
4 14 Sato, Takuma D/H/F Primary
5 17 Conway, Mike D/H/F Primary
6 3 Castroneves, Helio D/C/F Alternate
7 27 Hinchcliffe, James D/C/F Primary
8 11 Kanaan, Tony D/C/F Alternate
9 83 Kimball, Charlie D/H/F Alternate
10 5 Viso, EJ D/C/F Alternate
11 15 Rahal, Graham D/H/F Alternate
12 4 Hildebrand, JR D/C/F Alternate
13 16 Jakes, James D/H/F Primary
14 2 Allmendinger, AJ D/C/F Primary
15 7 Bourdais, Sebastien D/C/F Alternate
16 67 Newgarden, Josef D/H/F Alternate
17 77 Pagenaud, Simon D/H/F Primary
18 22 Servia, Oriol D/C/F Primary
19 78 de Silvestro, Simona D/C/F Primary
20 6 Saavedra, Sebastian D/C/F Alternate
21 98 Tagliani, Alex D/H/F Primary
22 18 Beatriz, Ana D/H/F Primary
23 20 Carpenter, Ed D/C/F Primary
24 19 Wilson, Justin D/H/F Primary
25 25 Andretti, Marco D/C/F Primary
26 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F Primary
27 55 Vautier, Tristan (R) D/H/F Primary
(R) Rookie (C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone
Pursuant to Rule 15.6.1 (unapproved engine change), Car 55 starting in position 27.
Brian Till is in the booth for Leigh Diffey who worked the F1 booth earlier Sunday, along with Wally Dallenbach Jr. and Townsend Bell. Kevin Lee, Marty Snider and Jon Beekhuis are the pit infantry.
Replays of last year when Dario speared JoeNew (Joseph Newgarden) into the tires on Lap 1, Turn 1. Dario claimed one of them racing deals. Ahhh, I’m not convinced, hence my use of the word SPEAR.
Let’s light this candle … we’re GREEN.
Clowns in amazement! Everyone is through turn 1 without any of them racing deals, and then Vautier spears Dixon’s car in the ass and send him ass around in a subsequent corner. Dixon keeps it going and continues. Wing damage for Vautier ... and a penalty for advoidable conteact for his trouble (drive through).
Lap 3 -- Cue the circus music! Yellow yellow yellow … Saavedra biffs it in Turn 9. The tire mound in Turn 9 has a fearsome appetite for cars, especially those whose drivers are wildly optimistic about maximum corner speed. Saavedra drove under Simona, into the corner way to fast and RAM, right into the tires. Maybe Simona waved as she drove by the crunched Saavedra. (Kidding.) A tiny fish taco truck pulls up and 19 clowns get up to draw geometric corning diagrams for Saavedra.
Marco pits for a new nose courtesy of opening lap mayhem. Back of the pack pits for a top off. If “top off” or “nothing to lose” is your drinking term, DRINK, ye BASTARDS.
After a four-lap yellow to haul off the Saavedra car carcass, on Lap 7 we’re GREEN.
RHR … sling shot, engaged … CLEAR. RHR leads. Dario says “the eff you say” and re-inhales RHR into the fountain turn. Holy Myron Floren … it’s the dreaded ACCORDION EFFECT at the fountain.
Cue the Italian Waltz …
We got people bashing people going into the one-wide fountain exit. Even the bronze dolphins on top of the fountain are like “WFT?” (Dolpins apaprently speak like Yoda. Make that "WTF?" and see helpful comment below!)
Lap 18 -- Marty “Get off the” Snider says the festive words we all long to hear on street races ... “fuel saving mode.” (DRINK, ye BASTARDS.) Our hearts leap with unbridled joy … we also drink a little more heavily.
Lap 10 -- Dario, RHR, Sato, Power, Hinch, Kimball, Rahal, Kanaan, Viso, Conweezy.
Lap 20 -- (insert lockstep here) Dario, RHR, Sato, Power, Hinch, Kimball, Rahal, TK, Viso, Conweezy.
Lap 23 -- Sato says “don’t mind if I do” and inhales RHR for P2. Theorizing that RHR’s red tires are going to shit and Sato on the blacks has more grip at this juncture.
Lap 27 -- Pit stops commence.Cue the circus music! Lap 30 -- Tags and Kimball are into the tires. Kimball got all optimistic and dove under Tags for the corner, cooked it, nosed into the tires and Tagliani (now behind Chuck) had no place to go. Biff.
A tiny motorbike pulls up and 19 clowns get off and sell fish tacos to the crowd while the four-lap cleanup commences.
Sato pitted on Lap 28. Yellow out on Lap 30. Power and Wilson (P1 & 2 at the time) pit under yellow. Sato leads. Sato can address his festive thank you notes to Tagliani and Kimball for that yellow. Rahal pitted on Lap 26 and similarly benefited.
Lap 34 -- GREEN. Restarts are putrid-looking at Long Beach. First three or four rows are two wide, the rest just stay single file and gun it when the green comes out. The result is some four-wide coming to the line. Cue the circus music! Hinch bashes the inside wall in Turn 1. Ran out of room. TK outside him, Hinch inside … tears. And we’re yellow yellow yellow.
Dario and Rahal passed Power on the last restart.
Lap 38 -- Green. Standard unsightly restart. Power gets overtaken by about five cars.
Lap 40 -- Wilson overtakes someone. Not sure who it was. Might have been NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Checking ye ole lap chart … it was Servia. Running order: Sato, Rahal, Dario, Vautier, TK, Pagenaud, Power, Wilson, Servia, Simona.
Bell reports Power threw a block party for Wilson … insert chorus of angry “not blocking, DEFENDING!” corrections here … But, no matter, because Wilson passes Power, who’s car has to be crap or something given his stone-like drop in the order.
Lap 42 -- Sato stretching out. 4 seconds ahead. Wilson around TK. Bell makes the MAJOR NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT that the Indy 500 is 80% of the reason Honda is in IndyCar. They he says it’s pretty much the reason anyone is in IndyCar at all. I couldn’t have been more shocked if my I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet!* (*Denotes extreme sarcasm.) Idea: IndyCar should make signs for all the non-Indy tracks that say “WELCOME TO THE UNDERCARD.” Please, Townsend, continue to remind those of us out here in the sticks that our races aren’t really that important. Promoters of races outside Indy love to hear such things. Thanks much! But get your tickets to the non-Indy 500 races today!!
Lap 50 -- Cue the circus music! RHR is nosed first into the tires. Dreaded Turn 8. Replay. Dove under Bia and BOOM, into the tires. IndyCar announces that Saavedra, RHR and Kimball will have to retake geometry class next term.
Sato drives into the open pits to get his last stop under yellow. Dashes off another festive thank-you note, this time to RHR. Sato out on sticker reds. Gonna take a brain fade for him to lose this now.
Cue the circus music! Speaking of brain fade. Vautier’s crew waves him out of the pit RIGHT into the side of Power who was coming in to pit in front of him. Vautier’s nose is trashed and Power’s rear bumper/tire guard device is mangled. Now Allmendinger is toast in the run off. Not sure why. It’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Appears to be a mechanical though because no damage etc.
Power back into the pit to get the pod cut off with a sawzall. It looked like Power either stuck a fist up in the air going by Vautier’s pit OR gave them the finger. The hand was definitely way up there, but I couldn’t tell if the finger was extended. Power is fond of the bird, as we know.
Marty with RHR who said he was just starting to get desperate in the back of the field and made an ill-advised move. Kevin says “fuel savings.” DRINK, ye BASTARDS.
Lap 55 -- GREEN. Kimball goes nose first into the tires but is back underway. Marco under Simona for P8. Clear. Kimball pits for a new nose. Pags is like Iceman in Top Gun … TOTALLY DEFENSIVE.” Marco pops Pags in the rear with his nose wing. The rear wheel guards that Bell finds “silly” probably saved Pags from a cut tire there. Some discussion in here as to if the red tires will last to the end or maybe Tony Kanaan, first car on blacks, will pick off a few people. Jon says the reds should last longer this stint than they did earlier in in the race because the track is well rubbered now, making it less abrasive. Jon is always right.
Bourdais into the runoff in Turn 1. Bourdais has had brain lock late this year. Had an off late at Barber too.
Lap 56 through 70 -- Running order remains Sato, Rahal, Wilson, Dario, TK, Servia. Lock step at front with some “can Rahal catch Sato?” and tire speculation in here. During that time Hildebrand passed Simona, Pagenaud, and Marco on the track (no pit stop parlor tricks) get to P7.
Lap 75 -- Sato, Rahal, Wilson, Dario, TK, Servia, Hildebrand, Marco, Pagenaud, Simona.
Sato will win barring air strike. Last win for AJ Foyt racing was Kansas 2002. Last road race win for AJ Foyt racing was 1978 per Mr. Till. Sato will be the first Japanese driver to win in IndyCar (barring air strike or brain fade, both of which are possible on street courses).
Speaking of brain fade, TK into the tires in T1. But wait, who had the fade? Looks like a racin' deal with Servia. Local yellow? Seriously? TK’s is seriously exposed here. I don’t agree with this local yellow. Festival of Not Wanting to Finish Under Yellow. Sato’s pit posse is all up on his radio (and we were allowed to hear it!) about where TK is and how he needs to stay right coming through there. Good work there.
Sato gets by the wounded TK car and THEN we go yellow. Larry Foyt frothing on the radio “you’re the champion!” Sato frothing back “that’s really nice" (among other frothing). Larry with Marty: “happy for this group. Worked so hard. Too bad dad (AJ) isn’t there to share it. (AJ Foyt in the hospital getting ready for some surgery). Larry said Sato drove the perfect race today." Hard to argue.
Sato out. One of the Japanese photogs runs to the car in victory lane I think to deliver a Japanese flag. There is always a group of Japanese photos following the Japanese drivers in IndyCar around. They’re clearly ON FIRE about this. Sato out. Gets hoisted up by pretty much every crew member one at a time.
A few notes kicked out by IndyCar PR --
TAKUMA SATO – AJ FOYT RACING – WINNER OF THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
- This is Takuma Sato’s first career Indy car win. His previous best finish was second at Edmonton 2012.
- Sato’s win comes in his 52nd IZOD IndyCar Series start. He is the first Japanese driver to win in Indy car.
- Sato’s previous best finish at Long Beach was eight in 2012.
- This the 44th Indy car win for AJ Foyt Racing. The team’s last win came with Airton Dare at Kansas 2002.
GRAHAM RAHAL – RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING – SECOND
- This is Graham Rahal’s first podium finish of the 2013 season.
- This is a career best finish for Rahal at Long Beach. His previous best finish was 8th in 2007
- Team owner and father Bobby Rahal finished second as a driver at Long Beach four times (1988, 1991-1993).
- This is Rahal’s best finish since Texas 2012, where he also finished second.
JUSTIN WILSON – DALE COYNE RACING – THIRD
- This is Justin Wilson’s third podium finish at Long Beach. He finished second twice (2006, ’10)
- This is Wilson’s best finish since he won at Texas in June 2012 and his second podium finish since 2010.
Administrative Law Judge Beauxford T. Justice (steward Beaux Barfield) initially gave Servia a 30-second penalty for avoidable contact with Kanaan, but then after contemplation and further review, rescinded said penalty and declared Servia NOT GUILTY. Court adjourned. Here endeth the record. Court adjourned.
That’s it from Long Beach. Trackside online finishing order …
OFFICIAL BOX SCORE IZOD IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 21, 2013
1. 14 Takuma Sato ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda 80 Running
2. 15 Graham Rahal Midas/Big O Tires Honda 80 Running
3. 19 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda 80 Running
4. 10 Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 80 Running
5. 4 JR Hildebrand National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet 80 Running
6. 22 Oriol Servia Panther DRR Chevrolet 80 Running
7. 25 Marco Andretti RC Cola Chevrolet 80 Running
8. 77 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda 80 Running
9. 78 Simona de Silvestro Nuclear Entergy Areva KVRT Chevrolet 80 Running
10. 3 Helio Castroneves Auto Club Team Penske Chevrolet 80 Running
11. 9 Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 80 Running
12. James Jakes Acorn Stairlifts Honda 80 Running
13. 67 Josef Newgarden Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 80 Running
14. 18 Ana Beatriz Ipiranga Honda 80 Running
15. 7 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon Racing Chevrolet 80 Running
16. 12 Will Power Verizon Team Penske Honda 80 Running
17. 55 Tristan Vautier (R) Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 80 Running
18. 20 Ed Carpenter Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 80 Running
19. 98 Alex Tagliani Barracuda Racing Honda 79 Running
20. 11 Tony Kanaan Hydroxycut KV Racing Technology-SH Racing 78 Contact
21. 83 Charlie Kimball NovoLog FlexPen Honda 78 Running
22. 5 EJ Viso Team Venezuela-Andretti Autosport-HVM Chevrolet 53 Running
23. 2 AJ Allmendinger Penske Automotive Chevrolet 51 Mechanical
24. 1 Ryan Hunter-Reay DHL Chevrolet 49 Contact
25. 17 Mike Conway blu eCigs Honda 38 Electrical
26. 27 James Hinchcliffe GoDaddy.com Chevrolet 34 Contact
27. 6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon Racing Chevrolet 1 Contact
Time of Race: 01:50:08.7155 Avg Speed: 85.763
Margin of Victory: Under Caution
Lead Changes: 4
Caution Laps: 16
Fastest Lap: 102.619 mph ( 69.0401 sec) on lap 45 by 5 - EJ Viso Fastest Leader Lap: 102.404 mph ( 69.1851 sec) on lap 70 by 14 - Takuma Sato
Verizon P1 Award: Dario Franchitti (1:07.2379; 105.369 mph)
Bonus Awards: Takuma Sato ($35,000), Graham Rahal ($25,000), Justin Wilson ($20,000), Dario Franchitti ($15,000), JR Hildebrand ($10,000)
Legend: R = Rookie All Cars use fourth-generation Dallara chassis (IR12) and Firestone Tires
Penalties: 55 Avoidable Contact Lap 2 Drive-Through, 55 Pit Safety Infraction 56 Drive-Through.
Driver points: Helio 99, Sato 93, Dixon 89, Marco 87, Wilson 81, Rahal 66, Power 62, de Silvestro 62, Hinchcliffe 61.
How about Justin Wilson? Classic road course schwerve here:
Started P 24, pitted during yellow on P3, passed people on the track up to P17 by Lap 17, gained two more spots when people pitted in front of him on Laps 18 & 19, another spot via pit stop on Lap 22, then advanced to P2 during the festival of pitting that started on Lap 27 (that Lap 3 top off at work here), pitted and came out in P13.
Passed people on the track from Lap 41 to 50 to advance to P6, got another spot via pit stop, pitted with virtually the entire field from P3 under yellow on lap 51 (Merry Christmas! You’re back on pit sequence!) and came out in P4, then overtook Dario under green on P56 (Dario gave a jab at a daft backmarker for causing this overtake)and lock stepped it home in P3.
So it was a combo of him inhaling people on the track under green and and going off sequence early to get some yellow magic. Just like you draw it up.
More thoughts on the IndyCar race later. Catch my thoughts on the F1 race from Bahrain earlier in the day here.
Lap Chart, starting and finishing order courtesy of IndyCar PR.
Next up, Brazil, 11 a.m. Eastern May 5, NBC Sports Network.