LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Three drivers have placed in the top 10 of all three IZOD IndyCar Series races this season. Marco Andretti is one.
Andretti, driving the No. 25 RC Cola car, recovered from a qualifying penalty that sent him to the 25th starting position in the 80-lap Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to finish seventh. He previously finished third and seventh this season.
“Going into this, I knew that this would be about the best we would finish," he said. "I am definitely pleased with how we climbed our way through the field and how we stayed consistent throughout the day. We knew that if we just stayed in the race and didn’t make any mistakes, we would be good."
Andretti is fourth in the championship standings heading into the street course race in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 5. An Andretti Autosport car won the first two races of the season.
Andretti's starts through the first three races the previous five seasons:
2012 -- 14th, 11th, 25th
2011 -- 24th, 4th, 26th
2010 -- 23rd, 12th, 5th
2009 -- 13th, 6th, 6th
2008 -- 2nd, 5th, 18th
Justin Wilson and Helio Castroneves are the others who have finished in the top 10.
'Count On Me' and Wilson delivers
Third-place finisher Wilson gave UCLA football coach Jim Mora a brief tutorial of the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing car a few hours before the green flag. The Honda-powered car carried a "Count On Me" Family Foundation logo. Wilson is partnering with non-profit groups at each race to raise awareness for various charities. ... Racing For Kids ill receive $90,000 from the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race on April 20. ... Rookie Tristan Vautier, who qualified 19th in the No. 55 Lucas Oil car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, started 27th after incurring a 10 grid spot penalty because of an unscheduled engine change. ... Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer gave the command to start engines. ... Dario Franchitti led his first laps since the 2012 season finale at Auto Club Speedway. He led a total of 16 laps on road/street course races last year.
Racers get air time in 'Super Trucks'
Between the Firestone Indy Lights race and the IZOD IndyCar Series feature, spectators were treated to Robby Gordon's Stadium Super Truck series. Trucks slid through corners and launched off ramps at sections of the circuit.
Arie Luyendyk Jr., Jeff Ward and PJ Jones were among the drivers.
Hunter-Reay collects hardware
Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay received hardware this weekend for two accomplishments.
The Andretti Autosport driver picked up the Racer of the Year trophy on April 20 and accepted a trophy during driver introductions from Dallara Automobili recognizing his victory at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7 that marked Dallara's 200th series victory.
Hunter-Reay was named Racer of the Year and Road Racer of the Year as selected by readers of Racer magazine and Racer.com. The awards, presented by Hawk Performance, are open to racers from a cross-section of motorsports series around the world.
Hunter-Reay is the fourth Indy car driver, the first IZOD IndyCar Series champion and first American-born Indy car champion, to win the award in its 18-year history. Others were Jacques Villeneuve (1995 and '96) Juan Montoya (1999) and Paul Tracy in 2003.