Mike Conway has managed to take the second victory of his career during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach. A crazy race with many accidents and safety car that has finished with his victory, with Muñoz second and third Power.
The start was so rare, with cars stopped, Hunter-Reay managed to hold in the first place followed by Bourdais, Hinchcliffe (who later would drop to fifth place), Hawksworth (Rookie) and Newgarden in the top 5. Servia was thirteenth, shortly after getting up to eleventh place. Behind him, the three Penske fought over the P12 that Montoya would end in, followed by Castroneves in 13th and Power, the championship leader, fourteenth.
Lap 8, Hunter- Reay (Andretti Autosport) already had a considerable advantage over 3 seconds when we witnessed the battle for third place between Pagenaud (Schmidt Motorsports Peterson) and Hinchliffe (Andretti Autosport), the latter finally getting him forward. Oriol Servia (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) was passed by Montoya (Team Penske).
Many drivers behind in the standings stopped for the first pit stop but the first 14 did not. Of these, all with soft, everyone but Servia, Power and Castroneves with hard. The Colombian Muñoz (Andretti Autosport) could not withstand the attacks from his rivals and was passed by Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing) and Juan Pablo Montoya on Lap 21 when Castroneves stopped in the pits. The next round Power would do it. Muñoz and Conway (Ed Carpenter Racing) did on lap 23 and went behind Castroneves and Power. Servia and Andretti (Andretti Autosport) stopped on lap 24, the Catalan left behind Castroneves and Power because of the lost time with Muñoz. Bourdais was the first of the top 3 who dare to pit stop on lap 26 , decisive moment of the race when the leader, Hunter-Reay was stopped immediately to preserve the lead, same moment when on track, Bourdais (KVSH Racing) caused the first yellow flag of the race -he impacted the protection when defending attacks of another driver. The French , though, could rejoin the track and the Pace Car was helping drivers like Montoya to advance their stop. Opposite, Hunter -Reay was followed by Pagenaud, Dixon, Hinchliffe and Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing).
The restart was quite bumpy. Wilson was pushed by Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) and remained standing in the middle of the track, and Power did the same with Pagenaud, that slammed into protection and was forced to pit . Thus Newgarden was now third followed by Power and Castroneves.
Muñoz was in all struggles possible out ther, and together with Conway overtook Andretti and climbed to eighth and ninth place respectively. Andretti was racing with hard, and had the entire row of drivers behind, starting with Servia. The Catalan had no time to overtake him. Bourdais again hit against the protection, causing the second Pace Car of the race on lap 42 . Then when all the cars were lined up, Charlie Kimball (Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing) suffered problems with the engine. A column of smoke rose from his car, forcing him to leave. Some drivers took the opportunity to stop and box for the second tyre change.
The green flag was back on track and this time there was no accidents but overtaking. Conway overtook Muñoz and placed himself seventh. But the most important fight was before; Hunter- Reay could not keep the pace from the first place and caused a queue of 10 drivers.
By lap 53 , many top drivers stopped in the pits for the last time. The other drivers did it in the next few laps. With this Newgarden could get out ahead of Hunter- Reay and Hinchcliffe. Former race leader did not allow this to happen and tried to overtake the Sarah Fisher driver who was touched by Andretti, causing a pileup of cars, where next drivers were involved: Newgarden, Hinchcliffe, Hunter- Reay, Sato, Hawksworth and Kanaan. Team leaders of these teams could not believe it. Power went on to dominate the race, the pace car came out again with the yellow flag and everyone stopped leaving Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi) first, followed by Wilson, Power, Conway and Muñoz to top 5. There were only 14 of 23 drivers live for the victory.
There were 17 laps to go, but Dixon made Wilson hit against the wall, having to leave. 5 laps later Rahal spun on the last corner, touched by Mikahil Aleshin (Peterson Schmidt Motorsports). Clearly, the Pace Car came back to work, leaving the top 5 as follows: Dixon, Conway, Power, Munoz and Montoya. All drivers rolled with soft tyres, which meant that the last 10 laps were to be exciting again, as it has been throughout the race.
After nobody attacking anyone, Montoya dared himself with Muñoz but could not overtake him. Conway was still in the lead in the absence of 2 laps to go and Dixon could not hold anymore and had to stop for a change of tyres.
Conway finally achieved the win, followed by Power, Muñoz, Montoya, Pagenaud, Aleshin, Servia, Andretti, Saavedra and Huertas in Top10.
Now Power expands his leadership more than ever.