IndyCar »

2014 rookie class impresses at Long Beach

An impressive showing for the four Verizon IndyCar Series rookies at Long Beach saw three in the top ten and Jack Hawksworth missing out after being caught up in an accident.
Long Beach: race report
Long Beach: full results

Although officially listed a rookie for the 2014 season, Andretti Autosport's Carlos Munoz had already impressed in two outings last season, the first of which saw him qualify and finish in second place in the Indianapolis 500.

Now the 22-year-old from Colombia has another podium in the books after finishing in third place at Long Beach, after holding off an assertive campaign from his compatriot and motor racing idol Juan Pablo Montoya who came across the line just behind in fourth place.

"I'm really happy, it was a really nice race," he said, adding that he's spent the final laps trying hard to get the jump on Will Power for second. "I just pushed pretty hard on the last two laps to try to overtake Will, but it was really difficult even though I had some push to pass.

"But I'm happy, second podium in the IndyCar, and first podium this year, so I'm going to keep pushing," he said.

Munoz revealed that the car had been a handful at the start, and admitted that the big multi-car wreck on lap 54 had been a big factor in his getting onto the podium.

"It's not the way I'd like to earn my third place with so many accidents, but this is racing," he shrugged. "Anything can happen, especially on this track - especially in IndyCar. Anything can happen."

Also having a strong run at Long Beach was fellow rookie Mikhail Aleshin, the 26-year-old Russian picked up from Formula Renault 3.5 at short notice just before the start of the season to fill the second Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports seat in 2014 alongside Simon Pagenaud.

"We had a really good day in Long Beach despite everything that happened in a very eventful race," said Aleshin. "I had a good start in the race and gained two positions. We spent a lot of time fighting with the other drivers for every position we could get.

"Unfortunately our strategy got thrown off when I pitted only two laps before the first caution came out," he said. "[Then] on the second restart I broke my front wing because someone spun in front of me and there was nowhere to go.

"I was able to pass several drivers and the big shunt in turn 4 moved us up as well," he continued. "On the last restart my teammate Simon got me: it was actually a really good move and showed me that I still have a lot to learn on the rolling restarts."


Page 1 of 1
1 2  »

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Carlos Huertas waits on pitlane prior to the start (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth enters the hairpin during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Huertas (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
The crew of Mikhail Aleshin go to work in the pits (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin waits on pitlane prior to practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power and Carlos Munoz flank winner Mike Conway during their victory lap (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz waits on pit lane in Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz with a champagne surprise (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon sprays the champagne in Victory Circle following his win in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon with a victory kiss from his wife, Emma, following clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, his fourth series championship of his career. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, after winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Joining him on the podium is Charlie Kimball, driver of the #83 Novolog Flexpen Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 who finished third. Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon - 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion - Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.