Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet
After having to start from the 25th position, Andretti penciled in his third straight top- 10 finish of the season at the Grand Prix of Long Beach today. Mid-way through the race, he climbed as high as eighth before sustaining front wing damage. He finished seventh overall.
“Going into this, I knew that this would be about the best we would finish. I am definitely pleased with how we climbed our way through the field and how we stayed consistent throughout the day. We knew that if we just stayed in the race and didn’t make any mistakes, we would be good. I had some front wing damage and a lot of understeer the whole race.”
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet
After making his best start with Andretti in 10th, Viso was forced to retire early after getting caught up on the wrong end ofan accordion-effect incident involving two other drivers. The Venezuelan parked his No. 5 Chevy with 10 laps to go shown in P22.
“A very tough weekend for the team. It was looking like a good weekend for me after our very difficult beginning. It was a very tough Friday, a bit better Saturday in qualifying – we were able to qualify in the top 10 – and then in the race I really had a good, good recovery with some changes for the race which were in the right direction. The team gave me a car that was very competitive with new and old tires. I was able to have a very good rhythm and good pace with fuel. I believe we had a car that was able to win this race. I feel bad for the outcome of the team: one driver took three Andretti cars out – it’s a shame. Now to Brazil.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet
Optimisitic for a good race, Hunter-Reay started the Grand Prix of Long Beach on the outside of the front row. The No. 1 Chevy required a front wing change after becoming involved in the same incident as teammates Hinchcliffe and Viso. Afterreturning to the race, the reigning champion was again involved in an on-track collision, leaving him recording a 24th position.
“ We missed some of the grip today that we had in prior days. Some of the corners that were my strongest were my weakest today. I was definitely handcuffed, so we just started trying things. We were in the back anyway, I had to move forward again and I just got in too hot, no grip on the inside there. Just trying things, trying anything to make a bad day go a little better, but it just went from bad to worse. I feel really bad for the guys, they gave me a great car all weekend, we just missed it today. I absolutely missed it out there on the track, so we have to rebound in Brazil for sure and try to get the DHL Chevy on top again.”
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
Hinchcliffe started today’s 80-lap race from the seventh position after he had worked his way up as high as fifth. The Torontonative recorded a 26th-place finish today after the Go Daddy Chevy was caught in an incid ent in Turn 1.
“Two in a row (not finishing due to contact) – what a kick in the pants. It’s really unfortunate because I think the Go Daddy team had done a good job giving us a great race car. If you look at the first stint we performed pretty well; we picked up spots on the start and the first restart. We thought we were taking a bit of a gamble on the black tires there, but I think that might have been a really good strategy call seeing the way that the reds were falling off. We knew we had to protect them the second stint – I was excited to see how that was going to play out for us. A few guys jump us there with pitting a bit early but we were comfortable with the pace of our car. And on the restart… I didn’t get the best restart and Tony (Kanaan) had a smokin’ one and I was trying to keep, I think it was (Simon) Pagenaud, behind me on the inside and as we got down to Turn 1. I haven’t seen a replay so I don’t know if Tony was trying to do a last minute pass or if he was getting squeezed by someone else, but he moved in the brake zone and I just had nowhere to go and day done. So really tough break for the Go Daddy guys because I genuinely think we were podium contenders today and it was going to be a good comeback from not the strongest of weekends. But one thing I love about this team is they pull out on Sundays – they do Sunday as well as anybody, and often better, and I think today was going to be one of those days. But we’ll get our momentum back and move on to Brazil.”