Skip to content

Verizon IndyCar Notes & Quotes: Long Beach Saturday

Apr 13, 2014, 2:04 AM EDT

NewgyLB Getty Images

LONG BEACH, Calif. – A few extra news and notes beyond qualifying and the no Ganassi/Penske Firestone Fast Six from Saturday at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Round 2 of the Verizon IndyCar Series (here’s Friday’s):

  • Career-best qualifying for Newgarden: Here’s a weird one: Josef Newgarden has his best career qualifying effort, but not his best career start, with fourth in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda on Saturday. He started second in 2012 after the rash of engine changes for Chevrolet-powered teams; that year, he qualified seventh on merit. As it was, the Tennessee native said there wasn’t a huge difference between Firestone’s primary blacks and alternate red tires. “Oh, man, it was so close. It was just so close between everyone. You know what was weird was that there wasn’t a big jump from Blacks to Reds today. We saw a similar thing in St. Pete. Just wasn’t a big jump. We ran a 78.1 this morning, and feeling really good about it. I think we’ve had an incredibly fast car from the git go here. We just didn’t go quicker in qualifying, and no one really did,” he said.
  • More Hawk awesomeness: Jack Hawksworth qualified fifth for his second start in the No. 98 Charter/Castrol Edge Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport. And the Bradford, UK native still said he left more on the table. “(We) had a couple of really clean, clean laps in session 1 and session 2. Then session 3 the car was really good again, which is good. I probably didn’t get quite as much out of it as I did coming off of turn 1 on the final lap, but I mean, the car was really good,” said the continuously impressive rookie.
  • Servia P12, Rahal P23: The quotes from the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing pair tell the story: Servia first: “Not that you should be happy starting 12th but considering where we were before qualifying and the gains I think we can still make on the car, I’m happy. With as competitive as the field is, going from one round to the second round is a very big achievement.” Then Rahal: “It was a struggle today. We tried to make more changes to get the balance in the car better and then tried some bigger ones for qualifying. We are just struggling with overall grip. Oriol had a big grip gain on alternate tires and I didn’t feel it.”
  • An all-star Row 8: The most recent Long Beach winner, Takuma Sato, starts next to the oldest active Long Beach winner (1999) Juan Pablo Montoya on the eighth row of the grid. Watch this space for the standing start on Sunday as two of the most exciting drivers work through the field.
  • Another big crowd: Like Friday, I’ll attest the on-the-ground perspective is that this place feels jam packed. This is an impressive turnout given the event’s future being part of the news in recent weeks. Long Beach is the preeminent IndyCar street course race weekend, and it is fully living up to its stature thus far.

You can see Sunday’s race at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

Here’s the full qualifying results.

  1. testover6370 - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Agreed, place was PACKED, except for the Tudor series. Long Beach seems to love Indycar, but they are also pretty unimpressed with the new sportscar series. I myself am giving up on Tudor, except to maybe check in and see how Corvette is doing. But Indycar? Wow, huge crowds even for Friday practice.

    Rahal is worrying me. I like him and want to see him on the grid but…. Being so soundly outperformed by a last-minute teammate tells me this isn’t entirely the team/engineering. Maybe he should ask Marco for his coach’s contact info. I WANT him to succeed but this hurts.

    Finally, GO NEWGARDEN!!!

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Video from NASCAR America

Who has the best chance in Texas?
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. McMurray (1105)
  2. K. Harvick (1095)
  3. J. Logano (1081)
  4. T. Stewart (1067)
  5. D. Hamlin (879)