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Hunter-Reay, Conway and Power top Long Beach Grand Prix practice

April 19, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • IndyCar driver Scott Dixon relaxes Friday during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
IndyCar driver Scott Dixon relaxes Friday during practice for the Toyota… (Robert Laberge / Getty Images )

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway and Will Power -- winners of the last three Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach races -- topped the speed charts in Friday afternoon's practice for the 39th annual running of the street race Sunday.

Hunter-Reay, the reigning Izod IndyCar Series champion who won the race in 2010, turned the fastest lap at 102.054 mph around the 11-turn, 1.97-mile course.

Conway, the 2011 winner, was second at 101.998 mph, while Power, an Australian driver for Team Penske who is the defending race winner, was third at 101.915 mph.

Conway left the IndyCar series after last season because he no longer wanted to drive on the high-speed oval tracks that are part of IndyCar's schedule. But the Englishman returned for this one race driving a car for the team of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Hunter-Reay ran 20 laps in the session but said afterward that his Andretti Autosport team was hoping to complete several more. But practice was halted a couple of times because other cars spun or crashed.

"Just never really got a rhythm," Hunter-Reay said.

In one incident, Justin Wilson spun into a tire barrier and then the car of Simona de Silvestro slammed into the right rear wheel of Wilson's car.

"I was the second car behind [Wilson] and saw him too late and ran into him," said De Silvestro, who posted the 11th-fastest lap before the incident. "It was a bit unfortunate because I think we were pretty quick."

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