By: Spencer Neff
April 13, 2023
This weekend, the NTT INDYCAR Series heads to the historic Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The 1.968-mile, 11-turn California temporary street circuit is one of the premier events on the schedule. On Sunday, it will be the 39th time INDYCAR has tackled the iconic course.
With the pairing of IndyCars and the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach dating back to 1984, there’s certainly no shortage of iconic moments from this event.
For this week’s Rewind, we’ll take a look back at the 2010 edition of this race.
Hunter-Reay earns defining win
Early on in the 2010 IZOD INDYCAR SERIES season, Team Penske had gotten off to a dominant start.
Making his full-time debut with the organization, Will Power would win the opening two races on the streets of St. Petersburg and São Paulo.
After starting on pole for the inaugural race at Barber Motorsports Park, Power ended the day fifth as teammate Helio Castroneves played the fuel-saving game to his first win of the season.
At Long Beach, 2008 winner Power made it three consecutive pole positions.
The native of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia would pace the field with a best lap of 1m09.319 (102.206 mph), joined on the front row by Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Power would take off and lead the opening 16 laps of the afternoon.
After trailing Power by a slim margin early on, Hunter-Reay took advantage of a rare miscue by the leader.
Upon the exit of the Turn 11 hairpin, Power hit the pit road speed limiter and RHR made his way to the lead until his first pit stop on Lap 28.
Then, he and Power would swap the lead again. Hunter-Reay would inherit the race lead again following Power’s Lap 29 stop. From there, the No. 37 would maintain the lead for the next 27 laps.
Shortly after making the final pit stop of the 85-lap race and gaining the lead back from Scott Dixon, the lone caution of the day was brought out when Graham Rahal and Mario Romancini collided in Turn 1 on Lap 60.
Five laps later, the yellow flag was lifted, setting up a 21-lap sprint to the finish.
Ryan Hunter-Reay would go on to win his first race of 2010 and the fourth of his career. It was his first win since Watkins Glen in 2008 with Rahal Letterman.
Despite having to pit to repair a broken front wing after contact with Alex Lloyd, Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson finished 5.6031 seconds back. Power completed the podium in third.
After rebranding from Andretti Green Racing during the 09-10 offseason, Michael Andretti’s four-car outfit scored their first win.
The win became a proverbial game-changer for both Hunter-Reay as well as his Andretti Autosport team. The journeyman driver would parlay the victory and other solid finishes in 2010 to a full-time ride with Andretti.
The partnership lasted another 11 seasons, highlighted by a 2012 championship and 2014 Indianapolis 500 victory.
After nearly two years away, Hunter-Reay will return to the series for May 28’s Indianapolis 500- presented By Gainbridge with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing. The 18-time race winner last ran in the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Since that day, Andretti Autosport added victories in 2011 (Mike Conway), 2018-2019 (Alexander Rossi) and 2021 (Colton Herta).
Last season, Andretti earned pole with Herta and Romain Grosjean earned his third runner-up finish in his first Long Beach race with Andretti.
For his part, Power won in Long Beach a second time in 2012 but has not won there since. In 2011, Power made it three consecutive poles. The defending series champion will look to add to his series-record of 68 on Saturday afternoon in addition to a third race win.
Penske is looking to repeat after Josef Newgarden’s 2022 victory and their record-extending eighth Long Beach win.
Header Image By Ron McQueeney/INDYCAR