Munoz continues hot streak, tops opening practice Carlos Munoz extended his streak of pacing the field in practice, qualifying and the race during the initial session for the Long Beach 100.
Munoz, driving the No. 26 Dialy-Ser car for Andretti Autosport, moved to the top of the time sheet with about a minute left in the session on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit with a lap of 1 minute, 15.1004 seconds.
Munoz won the Legacy Indy Lights 100 at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7, leading all 40 laps after earning his second Sunoco Pole Award in as many races this season.
A 45-minute session at 11:30 a.m. (ET) April 20 precedes the 45-minute all-car qualifying at 3:55 p.m. (ET) with real-time Timing & Scoring and the IMS Radio Network broadcast available on indycar.com. The 45-lap race is April 21.
"It helps that I have experience from last year (at Long Beach)," he said. "I know the circuit now, I know what I need. I have more confidence in the car so I need less time to adapt to the circuit. I have a great car, compared to last year we’ve improved the car a lot so that’s why we were on top. It was a good practice."
He qualified fourth and finished fifth last April.
"We had a great car (in 2012), but it’s really easy to make mistakes on this circuit," Munoz added. "That’s the key – don’t make any mistakes. It’s a difficult circuit so it’s going to be a tough race."
Peter Dempsey, coming off a sixth place at Barber in the No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing car, was .1295 of a second behind Munoz and held the top spot until Munoz posted his best lap (19 of 21).
"It felt fantastic out there today," Dempsey said. "I had a good weekend here two years ago and hopefully I can carry that momentum here this weekend and put that pressure on Carlos and Jack (Hawksworth) and get back into the championship battle."
Sage Karam was third (1:15.4056) in the No. 8 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car.
Mikael Grenier, making his season debut in the No. 22 TMR-Xtreme Drilling & Coil-NAPA car, was fourth quick. Matthew DiLeo, making his Firestone Indy Lights debut in the No. 56 MDL Racing/RES Precast car, got in 23 laps in the session.
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