LA CAR REPORT— Drivers have contested the streets of Long Beach for forty years now. Names made famous by the place include Al Unser Jr., a special guest at the track on Sunday, and Mario Andretti, also in attendance as part of his son’s team and driving one of the series’ demo cars. But it was some fresh faces who made the history this year at the 2014 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
LA CAR REPORT— The buildup to an IndyCar race can mean as much as the race itself, maybe more. That’s because you can’t really hold a weekend extravaganza which is comprised exclusively of one two-hour event. For that reason, the Long Beach weekend, like any other of its type, crowds in a number of other feature events to keep the fans entertained. For the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, that means drifting, a truck race, sports car racing, and various celebrity appearances.
LA CAR REPORT—If you’re a real fan of racing, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is a spectacular venue. If it’s no more fantastic than St. Petersburg, FL, was a couple of weeks ago on TV, no matter. The point is to experience it for yourself. And if you do, then in a few weeks hence, when these same Indycars are racing first the streets of their namesake town, Indianapolis, and then the famous Speedway, you can confidently say, “I saw it for myself in Long Beach.” Brian Kennedy reports
LA CAR REPORT—Remember the Coda? The electric car with the retro Mitsubishi sedan-like body entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in May of 2013. It was a difficult sell. Electric car buyers want something that looks like the future. A new Coda looked 30 years old. That was then. Coda today is Code Energy. LA Car sat down with Pete Nortman, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer for Coda Energy, who reports that the company is alive and doing well in the energy storage business.
BACK SEAT DRIVING— Danica Patrick’s Cup career now stretches past 50 races with one top ten to show for itself. Sam Hornish, by contrast, has competed in 99 Nationwide races with 53 top tens, 28 top fives, and two wins. He has nine top-ten Cup finishes, three top fives, and no wins in 131 races. So you tell me whose numbers look better. That’s why it’s tantalizing to compare them when they turn up in the same race, especially when they get there through such different paths—both the success (Hornish) versus little success, and the preparation and resources (Patrick) versus last-minute deal routes.