Andretti Autosport teammates Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz were among the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing Grand Prix of Long Beach Sunday for Honda and its Verizon IndyCar Series drivers and teams.
Starting 10th and 12th, respectively, Andretti and Munoz had trouble-free runs on the 1.968-mile Southern California street circuit, with Andretti proving to be the quickest Honda at Long Beach, moving ahead of fellow Honda drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal to finish eighth. Munoz had an equally uneventful run to take the checkers in ninth.
Hunter-Reay, in the third Andretti Autosport entry, started fourth, but lost two positions in the run to the first turn, and later struggled on the harder compound “primary” tires to finish a disappointed 13th. Rahal likewise suffered from handling issues and finished 11th.
After early-race contact resulted in a pit stop for repairs and a slightly off-sequence pit strategy, Jack Hawksworth led four laps during the first scheduled round of pit stops, but the lack of any late-race cautions dropped the A.J. Foyt Racing driver to 14th at the finish.
The Verizon IndyCar Series now heads back east for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama for the fourth round of the 16-race 2015 season at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, starting 3 p.m. EDT Sunday, April 26, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda racing activities in Long Beach, including Verizon IndyCar, TUDOR sports car and Acura Pirelli World Challenge efforts, are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2015 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV