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Auto racing: Sato first Japanese driver to win IndyCar race

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar series race on Sunday, delivering a dominant performance to win the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Sato, who drives the No. 14 car for A.J. Foyt Racing, led 50 of 80 laps on the 1.968-mile Long Beach street circuit and held off American Graham Rahal in a race that ended under caution because of an accident involving Tony Kanaan.

Sato was making his 52nd IndyCar start and his previous best finish was second at Edmonton in 2012.

He had nearly pulled off an upset in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 when he battled Dario Franchitti for the lead and the win on the final lap.

Both drivers made contact, with Sato slamming into the outside wall. He finished 17th, while Franchitti won the Indy 500 for the second time.

bb/mdl

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130421/auto-racing-sato-first-japanese-driver-win-indycar-race