Tempers flared in almost every corner of the IndyCar paddock Sunday at Long Beach, Calif., where Mike Conway was the unexpected winner.
Ryan Hunter-Reay dominated most of the race but triggered a seven-car accident 24 laps from the finish when he tried to make an aggressive pass of Josef Newgarden. It left team owner Michael Andretti shaking his head in disgust because the accident wiped out his drivers – Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe.
The accident opened the door for Scott Dixon to win the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for the first time. But he was short on fuel by roughly half a lap and stopped for gas with two laps to go. That gave Conway the lead, and the British driver cruised to his second career win on the course through the streets of Long Beach.
The big accident occurred when Hunter-Reay picked the wrong time to try to pass Newgarden.
Newgarden had raced off of pit road in a successful bid to get back onto the track in front of Hunter-Reay and Hinchcliffe.
But on cold tires, he wasn’t going to be able to hold off Hunter-Reay for long. Only Hunter-Reay decided not to wait and tried to pass Newgarden as they entered a tight Turn 4. The two cars collided, Newgarden was sent into the wall and Hunter-Reay bounced into Helio Castroneves’ path.
Hinchcliffe ran into the back of Newgarden – Will Power and Conway successfully squeezed through the wreckage.
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch says team owner Gene Haas is serious about making a strong entry in Formula One now that the sport’s governing body has opened the door for the first U.S.-based entry in decades.
Haas co-owns a NASCAR team with Tony Stewart that fields cars for four drivers, including Busch.
At 35, Busch says he’s too old to consider trying to compete in Formula One, but says he’d jump at the chance to be a test driver.
Hight wins Four-Wide
Robert Hight became the first two-time Funny Car winner in the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Concord, N.C., beating John Force, Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson in the final.
Antron Brown won the Top Fuel division, Jimmy Alund topped the Pro Stock field to become the first European winner in the Mello Yello Series, and Andrew Hines won in Pro Stock Motorcycle in the event that features racing in four lanes instead of the traditional two.
Hight, who had a winning pass of 4.074 seconds at 311.34 mph, extended his lead to 53 points over Force.