Castroneves had to pit early after a portion of his front wing broke off going into a corner on Lap 7. He was able to fight through the damage until Lap 11 when he pitted to acquire a new front wing, which cost him several positions in the running order
With his late charge to 10th place, Castroneves recorded his third consecutive top-10 finish of the young three-race season as he maintains the lead in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.
Helio Castroneves:“It was a tough day for the Auto Club Chevrolet, but my team did a great job getting me back out after our incident. I was trying to be careful but got bunched up and broke the front wing. At the end of the day the lemon became the lemonade.”
“We are very happy to come out of Long Beach still on top, that was our goal coming in. Every point really counts so we will take all that we can get. Now we just need to continue to focus on what we need to do to improve.”
Will Power started the race on a fuel conservation strategy and was able to work his way up to the race lead from fourth place on Lap 29 after the leaders in front of him pitted. The Verizon car suffered rear damage on Lap 52 when Tristan Vautier made contact with Power as he was entering the No. 12 pit stall.
Power fell back to 19th place after the contact and the resulting additional pit stop to repair the car. As he fought to earn as many points as possible, Power rallied over the last 20 laps to finish 16th.
Will Power: “It was a frustrating day for the Verizon team. We had a car that we thought was good enough to win today. But (race winner Takuma) Sato was really strong and dominated out there. We unfortunately had a break go against us but I am proud of my guys getting the car in shape to still have a decent day.”
“We didn’t lose much in the points today which helps but points are so critical and today we really could have made some up. Hopefully we can get back to finishing consistently up front in the races, which will help us gain ground with the points.”
Although he started 14th, Allmendinger was able to post lap times consistent with those in the top-three and moved inside the top 10 by Lap 25.
On Lap 26, Allmendinger made contact with JR Hildebrand as the fellow Chevrolet driver slowed going into a turn. The contact caused Allmendinger to visit pit lane for a new front wing, which ultimately cost him 10 race positions.
Allmendinger’s day ended when his gear box gave way in Turn 5 on Lap 51.
AJ Allmendinger: “I thought today was going to be a good day for the Penske Automotive Chevrolet – we were posting lap times that were consistent with those out front. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get the track position we needed and having the gear box break in Turn 5 ended the day. But it’s another step in the learning process.” –
“Indy is going to be tough no matter how much preparation you have, and unfortunately we didn’t get all we could out of this race. We were able to test there and I am a little more comfortable, but it’s still the biggest race of the year. I’m just excited to be able to represent Team Penske and IZOD in the race. ”