Mike Conway endures to triumph at Long Beach
Mike Conway started 17th and overcame an early broken wing to win the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for the second time in his career.
The Associated Press
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Tempers flared all around the streets of Long Beach, where drivers declared friendships over after a surprisingly physical race.
Simon Pagenaud refused to accept a postrace apology from Will Power, and Justin Wilson was furious with Scott Dixon. James Hinchcliffe tried to be diplomatic but failed to hide his displeasure with teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The one team smiling at the end of Sunday’s race? Ed Carpenter Racing, which got an unexpected victory from Mike Conway.
Conway, hired this year when IndyCar team owner and oval specialist Carpenter decided to get out of the car on road and street courses, started 17th and overcame an early broken wing to win the Toyota Grand Prix for the second time in his career. The British driver was chasing Dixon over the final few laps, then got the lead when Dixon stopped for fuel two laps from the finish.
“I didn’t know whether he had the fuel to finish or not,” Conway said. “The guys were telling me he was saving fuel and they weren’t sure that he could make it, but at the same time, you don’t want to rely on that.
“Second would have been good, but this is awesome.”
The race was shaping up to be a Hunter-Reay rout until he triggered a seven-car accident 24 laps from the finish. Hunter-Reay started from the pole and led 51 laps, and had Andretti Autosport teammate Hinchcliffe right behind him when the race took a bizarre turn with the accident that also collected his teammate.
• Robert Hight became the first two-time Funny Car winner in the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Concord, N.C., beating John Force, Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson in the final. Antron Brown won the Top Fuel division and Jimmy Alund topped the Pro Stock field.