When the Izod IndyCar Series hits the track this weekend in the third race of the season, Andretti Autosport will be among the favorites to take home the win in the 38th Annual Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Although only Ryan Hunter-Reay has reached victory lane at Long Beach out of the four car stable, the team has won two of the last three races around the 1.968-mile street circuit.
Mike Conway won in 2011 with the No. 27 Honda for Andretti Autosport but is no longer with the team as he will be in the No. 17 Blu E cig Honda for Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing. Hunter-Reay won the next year in 2011.
An Andretti Autosport driver has won both races thus far in 2013 as Hunter-Reay was the most recent winner at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7th. He will certainly be among the favorites Sunday as this track is very special to him.
If Hunter-Reay isn’t victorious Sunday his teammate James Hinchcliffe will be another good pick. Hinchcliffe won his first career IndyCar race in the season opener at St. Pete and has shown to be very strong at Long Beach in his two starts around the 11 Turn track.
Hinchcliffe has finishes of fourth and third respectively and with him and Hunter-Reay being the only winners so far he could be a huge threat this weekend.
Expect the other two in the stable Marco Andretti and E.J. Viso to be viable threats as well despite their recent struggles there. Andretti finishes sixth in 2009 but has finishes of 14th, 26th and 25th since.
Viso finished 9th in 2008 but since has finishes of 23rd, 15th, 25th and 12th. You can expect both to be very strong with their other two teammates this weekend and could contend for a top five if not a victory.
All of this would benefit the Andretti Autosport team as they sit third (Hunter-Reay), fourth (Hinchcliffe), fifth (Andretti) and 10th (Viso) in the standings. The top two in the standings Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon haven’t had much success at Long Beach during their careers and if history repeats itself they won’t be factors.
They have one top five finish between the two as Castroneves has finishes of 7th, 7th, 12th and 13th since the series unified in 2008 at Long Beach. Dixon only has one top five in his six career starts as he’s finished sub 15th in five of his six starts.
This could be a big weekend for Andretti Autosport as a whole.
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