Takuma Sato may be on the road to stardom. In his first season in IndyCar, he was known more for crashing than finishing races. Last season, Sato came close to victory with second place runs at Sao Paulo and Edmonton and pulled as he calls it a "No Attack, No Victory" move on Dario Franchitti on the last lap of the Indianapolis 500 only to lose it and hit the turn one wall. He was running inside the top five when he crashed at the season finale at Fontana and had a similar result at Long Beach.
This season, he signed with AJ Foyt Racing and began the season with a second place qualifying run at St. Petersburg, which he followed up with an 8th place finish. At Barber, made it into the Firestone Fast Six but was penalized for blocking and started in 12th. He was plagued by an issue on a pit stop and rallied to finish 14th.
At Long Beach, Sato lived up to the promise that he has shown the last year. He took the lead on lap 31 and never looked back and picked up his first win. This was also big for owner A.J. Foyt who's team's last win occurred 11 years ago at Kansas Speedway with Airton Dare and had not won on a road course since IndyCar's only trip to Silvestone in 1978.
Now that Sato has a win under his belt, he may just have the confidence needed for him to win races and championships. Take Will Power for example: after Power won his first Champ Car race at Las Vegas in 2007, he instantly became competitive and now Power is one of the top drivers in the series.
Sato is still the aggressive type and will make a banzai move for the win anywhere, which is why Supertex hired him. The team has a good chemistry which is also key to a good operation. So the best is yet to come from Sato.
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