LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Will Power, who started the 38th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in Row 6 because of a penalty assessed on all 11 Chevrolet-powered cars for unapproved engine changes, overcame the deficit by stretching 18.5 gallons of E85 the last 21 laps on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit, all the while being chased down by Simon Pagenaud.
It was Team Penske's first Indy car victory at Long Beach since 2001 (Helio Castroneves), while Power won the Champ Car finale on the course in 2008 with KV Racing Technology.
Pagenaud, who pitted the No. 77 Honda-powered car for the final time on Lap 70 of 85, finished 0.8675 of a second back. Over the final three laps, he ran lap times 1.5-2 seconds quicker than Power (1:10.4941 to 1:12.0333 for instance on Lap 84).
Pagenaud, who led laps for the first time since 2007 in Belgium, also gave Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports its highest finish since Jaques Lazier at Nashville in 2001 (as Sam Schmidt Motorsports). Seven different teams were represented in the top 10.
James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 27 GoDaddy.com car for Andretti Autosport, finished third as teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay incurred a 30-second penalty on the final lap for avoidable contact with the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car. It was his first podium finish in his IZOD IndyCar Series career. Sato, seeking his first IZOD IndyCar Series podium, finished eighth. Hunter-Reay checked in sixth.
Tony Kanaan, who started 19th, finished a season-best fourth and JR Hildebrand was fifth -- his best since placing fourth at Iowa last June.
Also on April 15, Esteban Guerrieri overtook Sunoco Pole Award winner Sebastian Saavedra in Turn 1 of Lap 1 on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit and went on to his first Firestone Indy Lights victory of 2012 by 1.5989 seconds.
It was the fourth career victory (11th top-five finish in 17 races) for the 27-year-old Argentinian.
Picking up two bonus points for leading the most laps, Guerrieri heads to the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway three points behind Saavedra (130) in the championship standings. Tristan Vautier, the points leader entering the race, was credited with third place and has 128 points.
Vautier joined the duo in Victory Circle because of a 30-second penalty assessed the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car driven by Gustavo Yacaman for ignoring the instructions of Race Control. The car lost one of its mirrors with about 15 laps left in the 45-lap race, and the driver was called to pit lane to replace it (a rule). However, the team didn't have a replacement mirror and he continued.
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