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Hunter-Reay wins Long Beach Grand Prix

Ryan Hunter-Reay ended similar win droughts for himself, Andretti Autosport and America by triumphing on the streets of Long Beach.

Ryan Hunter-Reay prevailed in a breakneck Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, holding off Justin Wilson to give Andretti Autosport its first victory since 2008.

Hunter-Reay, the newest member of the Andretti Autosport quartet, received a bear hug from CEO Michael Andretti in Victory Circle after succeeding in a race slowed by a lone full-course caution - tying an IndyCar Series road/street course record - and beating Wilson to the line by 5.6031secs to claim Andretti's first win as a team since Tony Kanaan's at Richmond nearly two years ago.

"It was the most fun I had in a race car because it was handling so well," said Hunter-Reay, who is the first American to win at Long Beach since Andretti himself in 2002, "My mom is out there today - she passed along recently and this race is for her. Over the last couple of laps, I said 'this is for you, Mom'."

Hunter-Reay also became the first American driver to win an IndyCar Series race since he last won, at Watkins Glen in July 2008, while the victory was the first for the Andretti team since it was renamed following a winter ownership shuffle, ending a drought of 28 consecutive races without a win.

"I love this place," Andretti commented, "It's where I got my first win as a driver, in 1986, and now its where I got my first win as a sole owner."

Having topped Friday's practice session on the iconic street course, Hunter-Reay qualified second to points leader Will Power in Saturday's Firestone Fast Six, but was perfectly placed to take advantage of an uncharacteristic blip for the Team Penske driver, whose car appeared to lose momentum exiting the hairpin.

"Man, that was awesome," Hunter-Reay admitted, "The car was so much fun to drive - it was some of the most fun I've had in a race car because it was handling so well. I was in a great zone and we were the fastest car out there today. We deserved it."

Power eventually finished third in the 85-lap race and, despite missing out on a possible third win in four races, heads to the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway next month having extended his lead to 42 points over Penske team-mate Helio Castroneves. Hunter-Reay is now third overall, with Wilson fourth as a result of their Long Beach performances.

Power has finished fourth or better in each race this season, having won in Sao Paulo and St Petersburg, but had no answer to either the problem that afflicted him in the early part of round four or to a charging Justin Wilson later on, ending a streak that had seen a Team Penske car finish first or second on street or road courses since Hunter-Reay won at Watkins Glen two seasons ago.




Related Pictures

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16-18 April, 2010, Long Beach, California, USA Race winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Ryan Hunter-Reay reviews telemetry data in his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay apexes the Turn 9A chicane during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay sits in his Andretti Autosport Honda on pit lane prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia is strapped into his Andretti Autosport Honda prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia is strapped into his Andretti Autosport Honda prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti kicks up some dust in the Turn 9A chicane complex during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal, and James Hinchcliffe bring their machines across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Sage Karam walks pit lane prior to his qualification attempt for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Justin Wilson flashes across the start/finish line during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson greets the fans during pre-race festivities for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his second place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a second place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in victory circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates on the podium with Josef Newgarden and Juan Pablo Montoya after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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racy - Unregistered

April 19, 2010 4:06 PM

A great race considering the narrow track and little passing areas. Still wish they would start the seasson off with it as should be. W Power had a tough day, however, good to see an American win in a American series on home ground for once. Adios



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