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British driver Mike Conway wins Long Beach Grand Prix

April 17, 2011 |  3:45 pm

Mike-conway_300 Mike Conway, badly injured in a crash at last year's Indianapolis 500, completed his comeback Sunday by winning the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, his first victory in the Izod IndyCar Series.

The 27-year-old Englishman passed Ryan Briscoe for the lead with 14 laps left in the 85-lap race and held on to win by more than six seconds on the 1.97-mile, 11-turn course on Long Beach's seaside streets.

"On the restarts the car was awesome, it just came to life," Conway told a television audience as he basked in Victory Lane. "Just had to make the right moves and hang in there and keep it clean.”

Briscoe finished second and Dario Franchitti, the reigning IndyCar champion, was third.

Danica Patrick, Conway's teammate at the Andretti Autosport team, finished seventh.

Pole-sitter Will Power finished 10th after his car was hit from behind by Helio Castroneves, his teammate at Team Penske, as they tried to maneuver through Turn 1.

Conway crashed near the end of last year's Indy 500, his car going airborne, flying over Ryan Hunter-Reay's car and then slamming into the catchfence in front of the grandstands.

The crash ended Conway's season because he suffered multiple fractures to his lower left leg, among other injuries, requiring months of rehabilitation.

Hunter-Reay, last year's Long Beach winner, finished 23rd after his car had late mechanical problems.


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-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Mike Conway leaves the track after a crash during the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 27. Credit: Chris O'Meara / Associated Press