No. 743,
April 16, 2014

Follow Autoextremist


The Line


THE LINE - APRIL 16, 2014


(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (
No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Telcel Ford EcoBoost/Riley) dominated the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase on Saturday at Long Beach, starting from the pole and leading 76 of the race’s 77 laps. It was their second-straight victory in the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season. Scott Pruett took over from Rojas for the second half of the race, and led Jordan Taylor (No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP) to the line by 0.759 seconds. Joao Barbosa (No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP) finished third (co-driven by Christian Fittipaldi). “It’s business as usual – for all of us," Pruett commented. "Our job is to go as fast as you can, try to run up front and try to win races or short of that, make the podium. [The merger] has been a huge challenge because our cars, the Daytona Prototypes, are so much different than in years past. That being said... you couldn’t see a more exciting time for road racing. The future couldn’t be brighter.” Next stop for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif, on May 4. There will be a pair of two-hour races, one for the Prototype and GT Le Mans classes, the other for the Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona classes. Both races will be televised live on FOX Sports 1. Check out John Thawley's scintillating images from Long Beach here.

(John Thawley  ~  Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)

Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen (No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R) spanked the GTLM field at Long Beach, starting from the pole and leading all but two of the race’s 75 laps. It was the first win for the new Corvette C7.R. “It was an important victory for the team,” said Magnussen, who scored his 38th career win in North American endurance sports car racing. “The whole time we had a fast car. We just didn’t make the most of it with reliability issues at both Daytona and Sebring. I couldn’t be happier for Antonio, myself and this entire team.” Garcia started the Pratt & Miller-prepared machine and drove away from the field in the early stages of the 100-minute race and by the time Magnussen got behind the wheel for the final stint, the No. 3 Corvette C7.R was well ahead in the GTLM class. BMW Team RLL earned its third consecutive podium finish to start the season with Dirk Mueller and John Edwards co-driving to a second-place finish in the team’s No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE. Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin (No. 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R) finished third.

(Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for GM Racing/Chevrolet)
Mike Conway (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet) won the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California, on Sunday. It was Conway's second win in the event in four years. Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 Andretti Autosport DHL Honda) dominated much of the race, but he triggered a seven-car pileup 24 laps from the finish when he tried to overtake Josef Newgarden (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda) in a classic boneheaded move. The incident eliminated both Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe (No. 27 Andretti Autosport United Fiber & Data Honda) - who were running 1-2 - as well as Newgarden, rookie Jack Hawksworth (No. 98 Charter/Castrol Edge Honda) and Tony Kanaan (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet). Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) took over the lead but he was short on fuel by roughly half a lap and was forced to make a fuel stop with two laps to go. That gave Conway the lead, and the British driver cruised to his third career victory. Will Power (No. 12 Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet) finished second and rookie Carlos Munoz (No. 34 Cinsay HVM Honda) was third.

(Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for GM Racing/Chevrolet)
Mike Conway celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Long Beach Grand Prix. It was a brilliant call by Ed Carpenter to step out of his car for the IndyCar road races and bring in Conway - a road racing specialist - to drive.

(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP courtesy of GM Racing/Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart Haas Racing Budweiser Chevrolet SS) capped his biggest weekend at Darlington Raceway with his first Southern 500 victory Saturday night, passing Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports National Guard Chevrolet SS) two laps from the end of the longest race in the track’s 65-year NASCAR history. Harvick earned his first pole at Darlington Friday night and had the most dominant car on the track. But he had to make it through a restart with 10 laps left and two tries at the gimmicky green-white-checkered finish.
Watch the NASCAR video here.

(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP courtesy of GM Racing/Chevrolet)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports National Guard Chevrolet SS)
finished second in the Southern 500 at Darlington, his best career showing at a track where his late father won nine times. Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS) finished seventh.

(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP courtesy of GM Racing/Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS) finished third at Darlington, while Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Ganassi Chevrolet SS) finished eighth.

(Photo by Richard Prince courtesy of GM Racing/Cadillac)
Johnny O'Connell (No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R) won Round 2 of the Pirelli World Challenge season - The Roar By the Shore Presented by Kia - on the streets of Long Beach last Sunday. O'Connell, from Flowery Branch, Ga., raced from pole position to the win GT class ahead of his teammate Andy Pilgrim (No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R), with a margin of victory of 1.528 seconds at 75.313 mph. O'Connell led all 32 laps to secure his first win of the season and 11th of his Pirelli World Challenge career. "You want to hit up the tracks you know that will favor us," O'Connell said. "If you make no mistakes, good things happen. We didn't make any mistakes all weekend." Nic Jonsson (No. 36 Kia Motors America Kia Optima) won in GTS, and Michael Mills (No. 41 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3 R) took the GT-A class victory.