The Cars And Stars Move Into Tinseltown

Orlando, FL (April 19, 2010) – It’s that time of the year for the biggest street race of the year on American soil. The IZOD Indycar Series was back in action and everyone thought it was going to be another Team Penske weekend and it started to look that way. This event is really a happening and people come from all over the world to be here. Many stars and wannabe stars were in the paddock.

The packed race weekend starts off with the induction of the walk of fame on Thursday. This year’s inductees were Michael Andretti and Danny Sullivan. Sullivan won in 1992 and for Andretti he won his first CART race in 1986 and his last open wheel race in 2002. Michael said this place his favorite place to race, because the fans have been so good to him here this track has been so good to the Andretti family and now has car owner he would like to have Marco in victory circle. Also in attendance was Al Unser Jr., which really brought some memories back for those guys when they were racing together. Just thinking how much the sport has changed and where is it going from here.

The big news and the talk was what is going to happen to Graham Rahal after this weekend, his ride is over with Sarah Fisher Racing. It could be a sad day in the IZOD IndyCar series if they’re going to let him go rideless. He is a winner in the series and an American who is one of a couple, with the other being Ryan Hunter-Reay who can win. RHR won the race and is hopeful he can be fulltime, when will the owners of the race teams see how much they need these drivers so the fans can have an American driver to follow. The day of Andretti, Unser and Foyt need to come back. Even seeing guys like Paul Tracy walking around and doing only a couple of races is frustrating. Its guys like that the people come to see and talk about, the series really needs to keep these guys in the series and really show the ladder system is working. Just talking to Graham Rahal about his future you could see that he is disappointed. He said that he was really thankful to Sarah Fisher for the chance and really feels that they have given 110 percent but when you are up against 2 car teams it makes it very difficult to compete and he is working hard to get something for the rest of the season.

What a weekend for Ryan Hunter-Reay, you could see the confidence he is getting after almost winning the first race and now getting a win the Andretti Autosport team is really coming together for him and you can see this is building for a really solid package. It was nice seeing RHR in victory lane, it was an emotional win, “It was the most fun I had in a race car because it was handling so well,” said Hunter-Reay, who is the first American to win at Long Beach since Andretti in 2002. “My mom is out there today. She passed along recently and this race is for her. Over the last couple of laps I said ‘This is for you, Mom.'”

The other big event this weekend was the American LeMans Series (ALMS) and after Sebring there was a concern about the car count, but this weekend they got 36 cars which was going to made it interesting at Long Beach. A lot of cars on a tight street circuit. With a lot of drivers that never ran here the first practice season had 8 red flags but for the race it was good they got their act together and put on a great race with Simon Pagenaud passing Adrian Fernandez on the last lap after he used his tires up. Also the GT2 race was a great battle and the defending champions Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister getting the win.

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