Castroneves, who won the previous week at Barber Motorsports Park, kept himself in the championship battle with a solid effort in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. His seventh-place finish marked his fourth straight top-10 result to start 2010.
"It was an interesting race," said Castroneves. "It was very unusual in that there were so few yellow flags. Everybody was behaving out there. We definitely had a car that was better than seventh place. Unfortunately, we lost a few positions during our second stint. The good news is we are still second in the championship points. We need to keep pushing heading into Kansas."
Briscoe said a few more caution flags during the race around the streets of downtown Long Beach may have helped his cause in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda.
"The car was pretty good today," said Briscoe. "It was difficult to pass. We missed it a bit on our strategy today. A yellow flag would have helped our situation, but as it turned out we lost a few spots in the pits. We had a car that was better than eighth place but we scored some points and we'll continue working hard to improve."
Power said the problem that cost him the lead could have been much worse.
"Sometimes these things happen in a championship," said Power. "The worst thing that could have happened was if the car had stayed stuck in first and I didn't finish. It's still a good day. It's good for points."
"It's unfortunate that Will had trouble shifting and lost some spots early on in the race that proved costly in track position," said Tim Cindric, Penske Racing President. "But it's fortunate that Will was still able to finish third and actually extend his points lead and Helio is still second in the championship. Team Penske is looking forward to switching gears and going oval racing over the next few months."
The IndyCar season resumes May 1 with the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway, the first oval race of the IndyCar season. The live ABC broadcast will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET.