Ed Carpenter Racing’s Mike Conway has secured his second win in four years on the streets of Long Beach following a Verizon IndyCar Series race full of action.
For the majority of the race, pole sitter and Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay looked comfortable at the front of the field effectively controlling the pace of those behind him, even with Sebastien Bourdais repeatedly bringing out the full course yellow for clipping numerous barriers.
However, around lap 56 Hunter-Reay’s dominance ended. Trying to overtake team mate Josef Newgarden going into turn four, Hunter-Reay completely misjudged the gap available and was sent into the wall alongside Newgarden and five other drivers including James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth – who has been involved in accidents not of his own making in these last two rounds.
After nine laps under a safety car, it was Dixon who restarted from the lead but immediately got himself tangled up with another car. That car was unfortunately the Dale Coyne Racing machine of Justin Wilson, the pair hit each other wheel to wheel sending Wilson into the wall and denying the Brit what he thought could have been a race victory.
That incident didn’t affect Dixon going into the second safety car in three laps as Oriol Servia span at turn 11. However, in the 10 lap dash to the end Target Chip Ganassi star Dixon was a lap short on fuel and had to make another pit stop. That allowed Penske’s Will Power and street course specialist Conway to sneak through.
From that point onwards it was a case of survival for Conway – who had used one of his push-to-passes to get by St Petersburg winner Power before Dixon pitted.
In the last three laps all Conway had to do was defend from Power and defend he did, finishing 0.9 seconds ahead come the chequered flag with Carlos Munoz finishing in third – restoring some pride for the Andretti crew.