James Hinchcliffe drove to victory in Sunday’s Long Beach Grand Prix, earning his win since 2015 and giving Schmidt Peterson Motorsports their first ever win at Long Beach.
The Canadian started from the front row and took the lead on Lap 63 of IndyCar‘s second longest race after he stayed out on old tires one lap longer than Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi. After pitting, he held off pressure from Hunter-Reay, Rossi and St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais and survived a number of restart to take the victory.
“To do it here and finally at this place,” said Hinchcliffe, “a track that I love so much, a track that’s been very good to me in my career, one that I think is the Indy 500 of street tracks … I think because of that history, it makes it a very special event, one that every driver wants to win. The greats have all raced here, the greats have all won here. To get in the winner’s circle was huge.”
Bourdais finished second, giving him a good deal of points towards the championship lead he assumed after winning the season opener from St. Pete. The top finishing Chevrolet driver was Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in third, while Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon and Penske’s Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top five. Hinchcliffe moved from ninth to second in the points with the win and now sits three points ahead of reigning series leader Simon Pagenaud.
IndyCar heads to Barber Motorsports Park next for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 23rd. Click here for full results from Long Beach.