Long Beach: Andretti Green Racing preview

Who: ...

Who: #26 XM Satellite Radio Acura drivers Bryan Herta and Dario Franchitti

Bryan Herta on the Grand Prix of Long Beach:

"I love racing Long Beach. It's my favorite event. As a kid, I always wanted to be a race car driver and my goal was to race at the Long Beach Grand Prix. That's why I wanted to be an IndyCar driver because the IndyCars raced there. To now get a chance in the XM Satellite Radio Acura, to go back to Long Beach and race, I'm like a kid in a candy store; I'm very excited.

"The XM Satellite Radio team, along with Acura, are still young programs. As much as Audi is trying to convince everyone that they're at a disadvantage, they are not. But, we're going to Long Beach to try and win. I don't think we are expected to win, but it is certainly our goal."

Bryan Herta Facts

* This will be Herta's eighth career start at Long Beach. He had a highly-successful run at Long Beach in a CART entry in his open-wheel career.

*         Herta started on the pole at Long Beach in 1998 and finished
third.  He started and finished third in 1999.

* Herta teamed with Franchitti and Tony Kanaan to win the LMP2 class of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. It was Andretti Green Racing's first start in ALMS.

* The win was Herta's first ALMS victory in his 11th career start.

* Herta, Franchitti and Kanaan are the only three drivers in history to win an IndyCar Series race, a CART race and an American Le Mans Series race.

* Herta had 10 starts in ALMS in 2002 with Panoz Motorsports that included five top-five finishes.

* Herta has five career major America racing wins including two in the IndyCar Series and two in CART. He has 10 career major American racing poles.

Dario Franchitti on the Grand Prix of Long Beach:

"I've always enjoyed racing at Long Beach and am really looking forward to going back. It's a fairly short race so overall speed will definitely be an issue. Bryan (Herta) and I have both driven the track several times and with the lack of practice time, I think our experience could really come into play. This is an important event with its proximity to the Acura headquarters and we hope to be right at the front in the XM Satellite Radio car."

Dario Franchitti Facts

* Franchitti has six previous starts at Long Beach in his open-wheel racing career.

* He recorded his first podium finish in the United States at the 1998 Long Beach Grand Prix, finishing second and sharing the podium with Herta who finished third.

* He started and finished second in 1999.

* Franchitti teamed with Herta and Tony Kanaan to win the LMP2 class of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

* Franchitti, Herta and Kanaan are the only three drivers in history to win an IndyCar Series race, a CART race and an American Le Mans Series race.

* He has 14 major open-wheel racing wins and 14 pole positions.

* His four IndyCar Series wins include: California Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway in 2005 and The Milwaukee Mile and Pikes Peak International Raceway in 2004.

* Since 1998, Franchitti has won more American major open-wheel races than all but four drivers.

Steve Newey, Race Engineer, #26 XM Satellite Radio Acura, on the Grand Prix of Long Beach:

"The XM Satellite Radio team is ready to rebound from a disappointing result in St. Petersburg. The race will be a unique format that will provide some real challenges in preparing for the event. However, the AGR drivers and crew know the circuit and are anticipating a good result. It will be an interesting event as the ALMS teams participate in Long Beach for the first time."

-credit: agr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta