Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach went much smoother than the previous Verizon IndyCar series event at NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana, especially for Scott Dixon. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver was 11th in Louisiana, but raced to a somewhat unexpected victory in California as he edged out the dominant Team Penske, RACER reports.
Pole sitter Helio Castroneves led the race until lap 30, when he and much of the other drivers elected to pit. Following his stop, Castroneves attempted to leave his pit box, however Dixon’s Ganassi teammate, Tony Kanaan, was pulling into his pit box ahead at the same time. This forced Castroneves’ pit crew to hold him in order to avoid contact between the two cars, which gave Dixon an easy lead.
Behind Castroneves, his Team Penske teammates were locked in a fierce battle for third. Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud swapped places twice, however Montoya eventually crossed the finish line and won the fight by a mere 1.5 seconds. Fellow Team Penske driver Will Power forked over his shot at winning early when he was cut off in pit lane and stalled his car. The reigning IndyCar champ was also forced to start from 19th after his qualifying session was red flagged.
Chevrolet IndyCars occupied the top seven of ten positions following Sunday’s GP of Long Beach, further proving the current strength of the automaker’s Indy package over Honda’s. Tune into next week’s Honda Indy Grand prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports park to see if Chevy, along with Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing, can make the forward momentum count.