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LONG BEACH, Calif. – 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.