TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH 2009: THE INDYCAR RACE
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, May 17, 2009
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Helio Castroneves had the lead (John Grafman photo) The Long Beach GP is a conglomeration of several races, with the IndyCar race the center of this racing 'solar system'. This is the featured performance under the big top, the big enchilada, and it's the one race that brings the fans out to the track and fills up the stands. It's incredible witnessing the sights, earsplitting sounds and burning rubber smell that goes with IndyCar racing. This is far more practical than going to Indianapolis as far as most of us on the West Coast are concerned. The Indy 500 does have its own heritage, but those very same cars display a far greater range of ability on this street course. This years' race featured six lead changes between Will Power (No. 12 car), Raphael Matos (No. 2), Tony Kanaan (No. 11), Marco Andretti (No. 26), Dario Franchitti (No. 10), Helio Castroneves (No. 3), and back to Franchitti for the win.
John Grafman photo) Dario, in the Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, in spite of a slight brush with a wall during practice, also owns the title for fastest leading lap at an average speed of 98.557 mph. Dario circled lap 70 in a brisk 1:11.8852 seconds. However, it was Ryan Briscoe that provided the fastest overall lap in the 83rd at 99.424 mph resulting in a time of 1:11.2582, over a half-second faster. Blowing past both was Will Power's bid at pole position. His numbers of 101.631 mph and 1:9.7107 are nothing short of amazing. Only six of the racers failed to complete the 85 laps of the race. IndyCar Bonus Awards go to the top five finishers, so both Danica Patrick (No. 7), and Dan Wheldon (No. 4) get their share of bonus money. The nearly two-hour drama averaged lap speeds of 84.491 mph, and the margin of victory was just 3.3182 seconds. All of these Indy cars utilize Dallara chassis, Honda engines and Firestone Tires, but at the end of the day it's what the drivers do with the hardware that makes this race a battle for the checked flag. - John Grafman
Kurt Fuhrmann photo) LA Car's Long Beach Grand Prix coverage: LBGP 2009: The Circus Comes to Town LBGP 2009: Pro/Celebrity Race LBGP 2009: The Molly Sanders Interview LBGP 2009: Drifting LBGP 2009: The Tanner Foust Interview LBGP 2009: American Le Mans Series LBGP 2009: IndyCar Racing LBGP 2009: Speed World Championship LBGP 2009: Racing Goes Green LBGP 2009: The Grand Prix Lifestyle