News & Multimedia

Sato Becomes First Driver From Japan To Win INDYCAR Race

Courtesy of INDYCAR.com

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Amid the Victory Circle celebration for Takuma Sato, conspicuously absent and certainly missed was the team's inspirational leader, A.J. Foyt.

Foyt was watching the NBC Sports Network's broadcast of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from his Texas home as he faces midweek surgery to relieve sciatica, so the all-time Indy car victory leader couldn't congratulate the first Japanese winner of an Indy car race in person.

The celebration, nonetheless, was hearty as A.J. Foyt Racing claimed its first victory since July 7, 2002, at Kansas Speedway with Airton Dare behind the wheel. The last win for the team on a road/street course was by Foyt on Oct. 1, 1978, at Silverstone. It was A.J. Foyt Racing's 44th victory.

"I wish he was here. We hate it because he is definitely our big leader and he is the big boss man. This is for him," said team director and race strategist Larry Foyt, A.J.'s son.

"Takuma made it look too easy. It made me so nervous watching it out there. He just drove a flawless race. I've never seen a race like that. Just a perfect race. It just all came together. We have been saying that. We've had flashes of being really quick and we just had to bring it all together. The ABC car just looked awesome up front all day."

Sato, making his 52nd IZOD IndyCar Series start, overtook Ryan Hunter-Reay for second on Lap 23 and assumed the point on Lap 30 when race leader Will Power pitted under yellow. The remainder of the race Sato's No. 14 ABC Supply car was strong on both the Firestone primary and alternate tires.

"It was just a perfect weekend to be honest," said Sato, whose previous best finish was second at Edmonton in 2012. "The team did a tremendous job. Pit stops, right calls, the power was great and I was comfortable in the car and able to push everything.

“It is great news for the Japanese. Japan has had such a tough time after the earthquake. I’m really happy to give everybody some good news to wake up to because it’s very early Japanese time."

Sato, who started fourth, led Graham Rahal across the finish line under caution as the No. 11 car driven by Tony Kanaan slid into the tire barrier in Turn 1 on Lap 78 of 80. It was the best finish for Rahal since finishing second at Texas last June. Justin Wilson, who won that race at Texas Motor Speedway, advanced from the 24th starting position to finish third.

"I think we just performed the way we ought to each and every weekend," said Rahal, whose father and team co-owner, Bobby Rahal, was a Long Beach race runner-up four times. "We came out here and the Midas/Big O Tires car was right there all week. To be honest, it just feels phenomenal to get this result."

Pole sitter Dario Franchitti finished fourth and JR Hildebrand finished fifth at Long Beach for the second consecutive year.

"I’m really proud of the run we had and the pit crew guys did such an awesome job, because we made up three or four of those spots in the pits on our last stop," said Hildebrand, who finished 19th and 17th in the first two races in the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car.

Sato is the third winner in as many IZOD IndyCar Series races this season climbed to second in the championship standings. Helio Castroneves, who finished 10th, has a six-point lead heading into the May 5 race on the street circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Scott Dixon is third and Marco Andretti, who finished sixth, is fourth. Honda-powered teams swept the podium for the first time this season.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Sato Becomes First Driver From Japan To Win INDYCAR Race
 
Sato Becomes First Driver From Japan To Win INDYCAR Race
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Amid the Victory Circle celebration for Takuma Sato, conspicuously absent and certainly missed was the team's inspirational leader, A.J. Foyt.
Read More
Related Media
Graham Rahal
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Rahal Thrills Ohio Fans, Inches Closer to Montoya
Rahal's surge in the second half of the Verizon IndyCar Series season continued with his second win in five weeks. Rahal, who started 13th in the 90-lap race in the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, closed to nine points of Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya with two races left in the season. There are 10 entries mathematically eligible for the title.
Read More
Josef Newgarden
 
Newgarden Looks to Continue Upward Mobility at Mid-Ohio
Josef Newgarden made a lot of new fans last year at Mid-Ohio. The third-year IndyCar driver came tantalizingly close to earning his first Verizon IndyCar Series win, and if it weren’t for a problematic final pit stop, the Tennessee native could have gone on to victory for the upstart Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team.
Read More
Sherwin-Williams
 
Sherwin-Williams Joins IMS, INDYCAR as Official Partner in Multi-Year Agreement
Sherwin-Williams, an industry leader in paint and coatings, will serve as the Official Paint and Finishing Partner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, INDYCAR, the Verizon IndyCar Series, Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard as part of a multi-year partnership agreement.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Hunter-Reay Tops All-American Podium at Iowa
Hunter-Reay prevailed by .5046 of a second to become the ninth different winner in 13 Verizon IndyCar Series races this season. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Sage Karam finished a career-high third.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Pruett's Preview: Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway
When Ryan Hunter-Reay thinks back to 2014, lasting memories come to mind. The 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion motored to his first win at the legendary Indianapolis 500 in May of 2014, adding his likeness to the famed Borg-Warner trophy and his name to the roster of open-wheel heroes who drove across the yard of bricks and into the history books.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,007
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
All @MotoAmerica1 Races At IMS for the @RedBullIndy #IndyGP Will Be Streamed Live On The Internet: http://t.co/fWRhK9DSe7
about 2 minutes ago