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Takuma Sato wins Long Beach to become 1st Japanese driver to win in IndyCar

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay races during the IndyCar qualifying at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach auto race on Saturday, April 20, 2013, in Long Beach, Calif. Hunter-Reay won the second pole for the IndyCar series. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)The Associated Press

  • Will Power, of Australia, drives during qualifying at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach auto race Saturday, April 20, 2013, in Long Beach, Calif. Power qualified in third place. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)The Associated Press

  • Dario Franchitti, of Scotland, drives during qualifying for the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach auto race Saturday, April 20, 2013, in Long Beach, Calif. Franchitti won the pole for Sunday's race. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)The Associated Press

Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race on Sunday in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The win came in Sato's 52nd career start, and the first for A.J. Foyt Racing since Airton Dare won Kansas in 2002. Only the Texan wasn't on hand to make his first-ever trip to Long Beach's Victory Lane — a sciatic nerve kept him home.

It was redemption for Sato, who probably is best known for crashing on the final lap of last year's Indianapolis 500 while driving for Bobby Rahal. But two races earlier, at Long Beach, he was headed to a podium finish when Ryan Hunter-Reay spun him on the final lap.

On Sunday, he held off Graham Rahal, who took his seat, for the win.