CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Herdez Competition race report

Mostly sunny skies and cooler temperatures greeted the Champ Car competitors today for the 29th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. For Herdez Competition, it was a day of mixed fortunes, with veteran Roberto Moreno...

Mostly sunny skies and cooler temperatures greeted the Champ Car competitors today for the 29th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. For Herdez Competition, it was a day of mixed fortunes, with veteran Roberto Moreno suffering a race-ending meeting with Rodolfo Lavin on lap 36 while Mario Dominguez parlayed his 11th place starting position into a fifth place finishing position, bringing home his first points of the 2003 season. Polesitter Michel Jourdain, Jr. suffered a heartbreaking mechanical failure on his final pit stop - while at the front of the pack and with just seven laps remaining. This year's dominant force, Paul Tracy, assumed the lead at that time and stormed home to win his third race in as many tries in record setting time (1 hour, 56 minutes, 1.792 seconds). Not surprisingly, Tracy retains the top rung on the championship ladder with 64 points.

Mario Dominguez - Driver, Car 55

"All credit goes to the team. They gave me a great car to drive and they got the pit strategy right by bringing me back into the pit for my second stop on lap 34. It was pretty wild out there today - lots of guys taking chances and being pretty aggressive. There's nothing wrong with that - you have to be aggressive to be successful at this level. I had a couple of close calls but I was trying to be consistent and keep everything pulled together. Having not scored any points in the first two races, it was really important to us today to be able to finish the race. I'm really pleased for the whole team - this is a great result for us."

Roberto Moreno - Driver, Car 4

"I have to say first that I'm very happy with the team's progress this weekend. Unfortunately, we don't have any points to show for it this time. But it's a long season and we are definitely headed in the right direction. I had a really good race car and we were working steadily in the first part of the race to just improve track position. I felt like I was going to be able to get a good run on the guy in front of me going into turn five so I went a little bit wide there but it's really a blind spot. By the time I saw Rodolfo (Lavin) in the tire wall, it was too late for me to change lines so I could get around him. I'm disappointed for sure but we made so much positive growth this weekend, it's hard to be down."

Fast Facts

1. The ten points scored by Dominguez today vaulted him from 18th to 11th in the Drivers Championship. While Moreno did not score any additional points, he slipped only from 4th to 6th place.

What's Next

Round four of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season will be contested on the legendary Brands Hatch circuit in England, May 8-10.

-hc-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Roberto Moreno , Mario Dominguez , Rodolfo Lavin , Michel Jourdain