IndyCar: Long Beach preview
The IZOD IndyCar Series will run its third consecutive road/street course race of the season this weekend in Long Beach. Defending series champion Dario Franchitti kicked off the season last month with the win at St. Petersburg, Sports Network
Will Power's win at Barber last weekend allowed him to take over the points lead. He holds a seven-point advantage over Franchitti, who finished third there.
Franchitti won at Long Beach in 2009 and finished 12th here last year.
Power has finished second and third in the last two IndyCar races at Long Beach. He started on the pole in both of those events. Power won the 2008 race here, which marked the final race in Champ Car history. He put on a dominating performance, leading all but two of 83 laps. IndyCar and Champ Car unified at the start of the '08 season.
"I think it's going to be really quick there," Power said. "I just worry about restarts. That's my biggest worry at that track, into turn one. It's just going to be worse than St. Pete."
Restarts were again a hot topic at Barber. Second-place finisher Scott Dixon complained that Power was in violation on certain restarts by switching his lane from the outside to the inside.
Long Beach will mark the return of Paul Tracy to IndyCar. Tracy will drive the No.8 car for Jay Penske's newly-formed Dragon Racing team. Penske formerly co- owned de Ferran Dragon Racing and Luczo Dragon Racing.
"It's great to be racing again, and I'm excited to be working with Dragon Racing," Tracy said. "I explored several options for the 2011 season, and partnering with Jay Penske makes it that much more special for me. I've known Jay for many years, since my time with Penske Racing.
"After just a few discussions, I realized we shared the same vision and that the newly formed Dragon Racing team was the best fit for my extended return to the IndyCar Series. We've been working hard to bring this partnership to life, and I look forward to competitive runs at a number of tracks I've had success in the past."
Tracy will also drive for the team at Texas, Toronto, Edmonton and Sonoma, CA. The team will enter a car for the May 29 Indianapolis 500, with a driver yet to be named.
Now in his 21st season of major open-wheel racing, Tracy has notched 31 race wins, 75 podium finishes and 25 poles. He captured the Champ Car title in 2003. Tracy has won at Long Beach four times. Miami Herald