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Conway Notches First Win In Exciting Race


indycar.com photo

By Andrew Cutler
April 18 2011

Nearly every IndyCar Series driver lists Long Beach as the race other than Indy that they would most like to win, and they all drove like it yesterday. The most famous street race in America proved to be an action-pack affair, with more drama at the sharp end of the pack than one usually gets in these events.

Will Power jumped out to the early lead, with the Andretti Autosport duo of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mike Conway hard on his tail. As the three of them drove off into the distance, others switched up their fuel/tire strategies in an effort to make up lost ground. This paid off in spades for Ryan Briscoe, who found himself in the lead after a caution period about twenty laps into the race.

For the middle stint, the race turned into the Ryan and Ryan show, as Briscoe and Hunter-Reay were the class of the field. Power and Conway had been shuffled back - WAAY back thanks to a pit stop issue in Conway's case - and had to methodically pick their way towards the front again.

Another yellow flag with about twenty laps to go set up a restart with Power just behind the two Ryans, but he got punted by his other teammate, Helio Castroneves, and would have to settle for a disapointing tenth place result. Meanwhile, Hunter-Reay was giving Briscoe all that he could handle when something - possibly a gearbox issue - ended his race prematurely.

By this time Cinway was back in the picture, and he made short work of both Dario Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe, taking the lead with thirteen laps to go. He never looked back from there, claiming his first IndyCar Series win.

"His comeback (from injuries suffered last year at Indy) is now complete," said team owner Michael Andretti. "The first time we put him in a race car, I could tell he had potential. I’m just so happy he was able to (win) this early and win one of the greatest races here in Long Beach. I’m just so proud of him and the whole Window World Cares team."

Here are the complete race results: http://www.indycar.com:8080/var/assets/indycar-race-lapfinal22.pdf

Earlier in the day, Conor Daly (son of former F1 & Indy driver Derrick Daly), who is running a limited Firestone Indy Lights schedule to concentrate on F3 in Europe, claimed his first FIL win.

Next up for the IndyCar Series is the Sao Paulo Indy 300, on May 1. 

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Conway Notches First Win In Exciting Race
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