CHAMPCAR: Long Beach: Race report

POWER WINS CHAMP CAR FINALE Leads 81 of 83 laps en route to third career victory LONG BEACH, Calif., Sunday, April 20, 2008 - Will Power got the jump on the entire field Sunday, vaulting from fourth to first at the start of the race, and never...

POWER WINS CHAMP CAR FINALE
Leads 81 of 83 laps en route to third career victory

LONG BEACH, Calif., Sunday, April 20, 2008 - Will Power got the jump on the entire field Sunday, vaulting from fourth to first at the start of the race, and never looked back as he cruised to victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the final race in Champ Car World Series history.

The 20-car field used a standing start for the first time in the history of the race, and Power rocketed to the front immediately. Power maneuvered the No. 8 Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia car to the outside of the track to immediately pass Alex Tagliani, who started second. Power then went side by side with polesitter Justin Wilson down the front straightaway, taking the lead in Turn 1.

Power, 27, never looked back en route to his third Champ Car victory, relinquishing the lead for only two of 83 laps during rounds of pit stops.

"I got a very good start in the KVRT Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia car, which I knew was really important," Power said. "The KVRT team did a great job with the car. I was very fast in the race, good fuel saving, great pit stops. I am very happy for (team co-owner) Kevin Kalkhoven and Craig Gore and all the KVRT team. They have put in so much work over the last couple of months, having been away from their families, it's great to give them a win because they are the ones who deserve it."

Power earned 53 points toward the championship in the unified IndyCar Series. He ranks fifth in the point standings heading into the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway on April 27.

Rookie Franck Montagny finished second, 5.094 seconds behind Power     .
Mario Dominguez was third, Enrique Bernoldi fourth and Oriol Servia    .
fifth                                                                  .

Wilson dropped out of the race after 12 laps due to mechanical problems and finished 19th. Four-time Long Beach winner Paul Tracy finished 11th. Graham Rahal, the IndyCar Series winner April 6 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., was running seventh when he spun on the final lap of the race, dropping to 13th.

***

The nine drivers entered in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach who are competing full time in the IndyCar Series will earn IndyCar Series points today. Those drivers: Enrique Bernoldi, Bruno Junqueira, Mario Moraes, Franck Perera, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Oriol Servia, E.J. Viso, Justin Wilson.

***

POST-RACE QUICK QUOTES:

WILL POWER (winner): (About start): I just got a good start. I hooked it up. I did plenty of practice starts in the morning warmup. We got a good start." (What does it mean for you to win the last Champ Car race?): "It means a lot. We were looking to win this championship this year, and then suddenly the series changed. This is a great way to finish off Champ Car."

FRANCK MONTAGNY (second): "Not too bad for first race in Champ Car, first time here. A rookie in a lot of things. It was quite all right. The team did a fantastic job." (Did you use all of your push to pass?): "No." (Did you use push-to-pass to pass Tagliani?): "Yes, I did a little bit. I knew how much he had left, and I had just a little bit more." (Any chance you'll come to Indy?): "I would like to."

MARIO DOMINGUEZ (third): "It was a tough race. Everybody was racing hard. At the beginning, I lost some positions at the start and then I gained some, passing people. The team did a great strategy. We saved a lot of fuel. Right at the end, with a few laps to go, I managed to pass a car for third. And it was a tough pass. He sure braked late; he wasn't giving me any room. He was really close, but thank God I made it. I'm just really glad to give Pacific Coast Motorsports this third place. Very well deserved. They're a hard-working team. I'm very happy I gave them their best result."

ENRIQUE BERNOLDI (fourth): "It was tough to pass people. It's a very long race, and this car is very heavy on the steering wheel. I think I got good points for the championship. I know it was a very good race for me and the whole team." (About track): This track is very nice. The atmosphere is very friendly. I like it a lot here so far."

-credit: irl/cc

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Enrique Bernoldi , Justin Wilson , Franck Montagny , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Graham Rahal , Mario Dominguez , Will Power , Kevin Kalkhoven , Franck Perera