Indy Lights History at Long Beach for Verizon IndyCar Series Drivers
 April 14, 2016| 
  • Series News

Verizon IndyCar Series Mazda Road to Indy Pit Notes

Event:              Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 

Of Note:

  • 12 of the 21 starters this weekend are graduates of the Mazda Road to Indy
  • Five Mazda Road to Indy champions are on the grid – Josef Newgarden (2011), Scott Dixon (2000) and Tony Kanaan (1997) were champions in Indy Lights, with Jack Hawksworth (2012) and Conor Daly (2010) in Pro Mazda
  • Three former Indy Lights champions are on the broadcast team: Jon Beekhuis (1988), Paul Tracy (1990) and Townsend Bell (2001)
  • Indy Lights raced at Long Beach from 1989-2001 and from 2009-2015. Current IndyCar drivers with Indy Lights wins on the streets of Long Beach are Helio Castroneves (won from the pole in 1997), Scott Dixon (won from 2nd on the grid in 2000), James Hinchcliffe (won from the pole in 2010), Conor Daly (won from 4th on the grid in 2011 after Josef Newgarden made a mistake), and Carlos Munoz (won from the pole in 2013).
  • Schmidt Peterson Motorsports holds the record for the most driver championships in Indy Lights history at 7 

Mazda Road to Indy

  • Over $3.6M in prizes and awards are on offer in 2016 to help drivers take the next steps in their careers
  • Spencer Pigot is the reigning Indy Lights champion, earning a record fourth Mazda scholarship to graduate to IndyCar with a guaranteed three-race program – including the 100th Indianapolis 500 – valued at $1M
  • The Mazda Road to Indy is the only driver development program of its type in the world, providing a scholarship-funded path from USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights to the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500
  • Since 2007, Mazda has provided more than $12M in driver development scholarships

Marco Andretti

  • Finished fifth in the 2005 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires
  • Finished 10th in Indy Lights in 2005 despite competing in only six of 14 races 

Helio Castroneves

  • Finished second to teammate Tony Kanaan in the 1997 Indy Lights championship driving for Tasman Motorsports, winning from the pole at Long Beach that year
  • Finished seventh in his first season of Indy Lights with Tasman Motorsports 

Max Chilton

  • Finished fifth in the Indy Lights championship in 2015 (driving for Carlin) and claimed a fifth-place finish at Long Beach
  • Won the Indy Lights race at Iowa Speedway and claimed an additional five podiums last season

 Conor Daly

  • 2010 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires champion
  • Won at Long Beach in 2011 in Indy Lights driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Scott Dixon 

  • Won the 2000 Indy Lights championship driving for the PacWest Indy Lights team, winning at Long Beach that year
  • Made his American racing debut in Indy Lights driving for Johansson Motorsports with a fifth-place finish in the standings

Jack Hawksworth  

  • Won the 2012 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with Team Pelfrey and a Mazda scholarship to compete in Indy Lights
  • Finished fourth in the 2013 Indy Lights championship driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with three wins

James Hinchcliffe

  • Finished second in the Indy Lights championship in 2010 with Team Moore Racing winning from the pole in Long Beach
  • Finished fifth in the Indy Lights championship in 2009 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Tony Kanaan

  • Won the 1997 championship over teammate Helio Castroneves by only four points driving for Tasman Motorsports
  • Finished second in the 1996 Indy Lights title chase driving for Tasman Motorsports

Charlie Kimball

  • Raced in Indy Lights for two seasons, finishing fourth in the 2010 title chase for AFS/Andretti Autosport
  • Earned a second-place finish in Long Beach in 2010

Carlos Munoz

  • Finished third in the Indy Lights championship in 2013 with Andretti Autosport, winning from the pole at Long Beach that year
  • Finished fifth in the 2012 Indy Lights championship with Andretti Autosport

Josef Newgarden

  • Won the 2011 Indy Lights championship driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with five wins and 10 podiums in 14 starts
  • Led 31 laps of the 2011 Indy Lights race at Long Beach before retiring after contact

Graham Rahal

  • Finished fourth in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in 2005 driving for Andersen Walko Racing, becoming the youngest driver to win a Pro Mazda race
  • Made his Indy Lights debut in 2006 with Kenn Hardley Racing finishing second in the Liberty Challenge at the Indianapolis road course
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