Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Britain's Conway Emerges from Pack

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Britain's Conway Emerges from Pack

Article excerpt

Tempers flared in almost every corner of the IndyCar paddock Sunday at Long Beach, Calif., where Mike Conway was the unexpected winner of a surprisingly physical race.

Ryan Hunter-Reay dominated most of the race but sparked a seven- car accident 24 laps from the finish when he tried to make an aggressive pass of Josef Newgarden. It left team owner Michael Andretti shaking his head in disgust because the accident wiped out Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe, and Sarah Fisher fumed on Twitter over Newgarden's day being ruined.

The accident opened the door for Scott Dixon to win the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for the first time. But he was short on fuel by roughly half a lap and stopped for gas with two laps to go. That gave Conway the lead, and the British driver cruised to his second career win on the temporary street course through the streets of Long Beach.

Conway, who also won at Long Beach in 2011, scored the win for Ed Carpenter Racing, a team that specializes in oval races. But Carpenter decided this year to get out of the car on road and street courses, and handed the wheel over to Conway, a driver who at the end of 2012 decided he no longer wanted to race on ovals.

"I can't believe it. I can't believe I'm actually here," Conway said in Victory Lane. "I wasn't sure Scott was going to pull in there. I couldn't see he was saving fuel where he should have been saving. Second would have been good, but this is awesome."

Dixon said he pitted when he did to avoid potentially running out of gas on the track.

"The last thing I wanted to do was run out of gas in front of the whole field and cause a big accident," Dixon said.

One big accident already had occurred -- when Hunter-Reay picked the wrong time to try to pass Newgarden.

Newgarden had raced off of pit road in a successful bid to get back onto the track in front of Hunter-Reay and Hinchcliffe, the two Andretti drivers who had started on the front row. …

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