LONG BEACH, Calif. - Tempers flared after Mike Conway won IndyCar's Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday.
Ryan Hunter-Reay dominated the race but triggered a seven-car accident 24 laps from the finish. It left Michael Andretti disgusted because it wiped out Hunter-Reay and his other driver, James Hinchcliffe. Sarah Fisher fumed over her driver, Josef Newgarden, being taken out.
Scott Dixon took the lead after the wreck. But he knew he was short on fuel and pitted with two laps left in the 80-lap race. That gave Conway, who finished 16th in the season opener in St. Petersburg on March 30, his third career win, including this race in 2011.
"I can't believe it," Conway said. "I wasn't sure Scott was going to pull in there. Second would have been good, but this is awesome."
Dixon said he pitted to avoid creating more problems: "The last thing I wanted to do was run out of gas in front of the whole field and cause a big accident."
Problems began when Newgarden raced off pit road before Hunter-Reay to take the lead. But on cold tires, he wasn't going to hold off Hunter-Reay for long. Only Hunter-Reay didn't wait and tried to pass on the ensuing lap as they entered a tight Turn 4. The cars collided, Newgarden's hitting the wall and Hunter-Reay's hitting Helio Castroneves' car.
Tweeted Fisher: "It was our race to win, and we got robbed by immaturity. Period."
Said Andretti: "You need to be a little more patient."
Hunter-Reay didn't exactly accept responsibility.
"I could have waited a little bit later. Maybe that's my fault," he said. "It's down to me to make the pass, I guess. I'm not sure. I made the decision at that split second. That's the type of driver I am. I go for it."
F1: NASCAR's Kurt Busch said his car owner, Gene Haas, is serious about getting into the series. "You just don't drop $40 million on a wind tunnel and not think that you're serious about racing," he said. Haas has a license from the series to start a team as early as 2015. The last attempt for a U.S.-based team came in 2010, but it lacked funding. The last U.S.-based team to run was Parnelli Jones Racing in 1974-76.
NHRA: Robert Hight won Funny Car in the Four-Wide Nationals, beating John Force, Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson in the final at 4.074 seconds and 311.34 mph in Concord, N.C. Jimmy Alund (Pro Stock) became the first European winner in the Drag Racing Series. Antron Brown won Top Fuel. Andrew Hines won Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Sprint Cup points
After eight of 26 races. Sixteen drivers will make the season-ending Chase for the Championship.
Driver Pts. Back
Jeff Gordon 297 -
Matt Kenseth 296 1
Carl Edwards 278 19
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 271 26
Jimmie Johnson 270 27
Kyle Busch 269 28
Brad Keselowski 246 51
Joey Logano 245 52
Ryan Newman 236 61
Austin Dillon 235 62
Greg Biffle 227 70
Tony Stewart 224 73
Toyota Owners 400, 7 p.m. April 26, Richmond (Va.) International Raceway TV: Ch. 13
. gearhead stats
Winner's average speed: 131.211 mph
Time of race: 3 hours, 53 minutes, 37 seconds
Margin of victory: 0.558 seconds
Caution flags: 11 for 50 laps
Lead changes: 22 among 12 drivers
Lap leaders: Logano 1-37; Gordon 38-42; Ragan 43; Gordon 44-45; Harvick 46-60; Hamlin 61-63; Kenseth 64-75; Harvick 76-179; Keselowski 180-183; Kahne 184-201; Harvick 202; Kahne 203-207; Harvick 208-223; Vickers 224-247; Gordon 248; Vickers 249-254; Harvick 255-273; Biffle 274-278; Harvick 279-359; Johnson 360-367; Earnhardt Jr. 368-372; Harvick 373-374.