Indycar had another thrilling race at the Long Beach GP and Jim Fonseca was there to catch the action
LONG BEACH, Calif. – With the confluence of skill, experience and horsepower at their fingertips, Verizon IndyCar Series drivers and team principals in mid-March universally forecast another ultra-competitive season.
So far, they’re spot on.
There have been three different winners in as many races, and the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 26 offers an opportunity for another driver to make their mark. A fourth different winner to start the season would match 2014, which produced an Indy car record-tying 11 different winners in 18 races.
Will it be Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has won the past two years on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course? Or will reigning series champion Will Power rebound from 20th place in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach — his worst finish since May 5, 2013, in Brazil – for his third victory in six races in Birmingham, Ala.?
The depth of the competition is impressive; the margin for victory slim.
Three-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon followed Juan Pablo Montoya and James Hinchcliffe in Victory Circle on April 19 by winning the 41st race on the seaside streets of Long Beach by 2.2221 seconds over Verizon P1 Award winner and track record-holder Helio Castroneves of Team Penske.
Dixon’s 36th career win, which broke a tie with Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car list, vaulted the veteran driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car to fourth in the championship standings.
“I think we’d definitely like to build on it, and the only way we’re going to do that is to win races,” said Dixon, who started the season with 15th- and 11th-place finishes. “I’m very lucky to be with a team like Team Target. All but one win has been with this team, so a huge amount of credit goes to them as a team for enabling me to take it to the winner’s circle a lot of the time.”
Montoya placed third in the 80-lap race for his third consecutive top-five finish and maintains the championship lead, though it shrunk from 10 points to three over Castroneves. Tony Kanaan, Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing Teams teammate, is 26 points behind Montoya.
“Another podium is great for the points battle,” said Montoya, driver of the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. “Two podiums in three races is a bit different start than we had last year (two top fives in the opening five races) and that is something I’m very proud of.”
The series championship has been decided in the finale the past nine seasons, and drivers and team principals also forecast in the preseason that the trend will hold in 2015.
“It’s about being consistent and being smart,” said Montoya, the 1999 CART champion.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Photos by Jim Fonseca
Words by IndycarPR
RacerViews was established in 2011 and with the aim of delivering a new web experience to motorsport fans. We bring exclusive interviews and photos from motorsports finest drivers of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our team has over 30 years of experience in the motorsport field. With a heavy presence on Facebook,Twitter and iTunes where we have over 3000 followers, our mission to bring exclusive content is in safe hands. Additionally we have over 1 million views on our G+ page. We have partnered with motorsport teams like Stig Richards Motorsport, One of a Kind Motorsport, Dark Horse Racing and MRT Performance in order to give you the best exclusive motorsport coverage.
We are always looking for new people to join our team. If you are a motorsports photographer or journalist looking for additional exposure or a great place to learn your trade, contact us