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Rossi, Honda Rule at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Rossi, Honda Rule at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

  • Alexander Rossi dominates race for second consecutive Long Beach win
  • Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal take battle for third to the checkers
  • Third Honda NTT IndyCar Series victory in four races 

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 14, 2019) – Starting from the pole, Alexander Rossi fended off an early challenge from fellow Honda driver Scott Dixon and then took command of Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, dominating the 85-lap race and moving into second in the Drivers’ Championship points standings after four of 17 races.

Rossi led all but five laps of today’s 85-lap contest to score his second consecutive NTT IndyCar Series victory at Long Beach, becoming the first driver to successfully record back-to-back victories on the classic temporary street circuit since Alex Zanardi accomplished the feat in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda in 1997-98.  Today’s victory was the third for Honda in four races this season, and the 14th Honda win in 20 races at Long Beach.

Dixon continued in second place until the first round of pit stops, where he briefly dropped to fourth behind Josef Newgarden and Will Power, then moved to third when Power briefly slid off course on Lap 31.  But an issue with the refueling probe during his final stop cost Dixon 18 seconds in pit lane, dropping him to fifth, behind both Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Dixon passed Hunter-Reay, who was having to save fuel in the closing laps after making an early final pit stop, for fourth place on Lap 81 and quickly closed on Rahal, who was slowing in the final laps due to tire wear.  On the final lap, the pair made contact when Dixon attempted to pass while exiting Turn 8. Following the checkers, Rahal was issued a time penalty that reversed their finishing positions, awarding Dixon with third place and dropping Rahal to fourth.

Behind the leaders, Hunter-Reay conserved fuel to finish in fifth, with Takuma Sato, winner of last weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, eighth.  James Hinchcliffe, moving up from 15th on the starting grid, and rookie Felix Rosenqvist rounded out the top ten for Honda.

Next

The NTT IndyCar Series now heads “home” to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for “Month of May” activities, including the May 11 Grand Prix of Indianapolis road course race and the May 26 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.  Both races will be broadcast live on NBC.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series action at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach are available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels.  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.  

Quotes

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started first, finished first, first IndyCar Series win of 2019, sixth career victory, second consecutive Long Beach win, 200th win for Andretti Autosport: “We knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle, but the team gave me such a great, great car and it’s the 200th win for Andretti Autosport, so what better way than to do it in that [dominating] kind of fashion, here at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, here in California.  It’s an amazing day.  This is a special one. I just found out that my grandfather died yesterday, so I want to dedicate this [victory] to him, and to Michael Andretti for his 200th win.”

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started second, finished third: “It was unfortunate.  Graham [Rahal] overshot Turn 8 and then quickly tried to turn in reaction.  The rules don’t allow you to come back across or defend if somebody’s already there, and that’s what happened.  We made contact coming out of [Turn 8], I hit his rear tire and lost momentum as a result.  I think, had he not reacted there, I would’ve gotten him anyway.  But that’s racing.  It’s hard racing.  We were strong the last stint.  Congratulations to [Alexander] Rossi, that was a fantastic drive.”

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) Started sixth, finished fourth following a time penalty from Race Control: “It’s not that tough to swallow, we were going to lose the spot [to Scott Dixon] anyway. My fronts [tires] were absolutely gone.  I had no braking grip whatsoever.  I moved right as quick as I could out of the [Turn 8] corner and gave him a lane [on the left].  By the rules, you’re allowed to make one move, which I did on the exit of the corner, and that was it.  We’ll have to discuss it [with race officials].  I’m not upset about it.  Our car wasn’t great today, but it was decent.  At the end of the day, P-4, it was a good day, good [championship] points for us.  We haven’t had a lot of luck this year, so we’ll just take it as it is and move on.”

Steve Eriksen (Vice President and COO, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race win at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach: “What a great way to kick off the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, with a dominating performance from Alexander [Rossi] and Andretti Autosport in front of so many Honda and Acura fans.  Four of the top five drivers were in Hondas, representing three different teams, and we’re very pleased to have powered Andretti Autosport to their 200th race win.  With great drives today from Rossi, [Scott] Dixon and [Graham] Rahal, I believe this sets us up for a great Month of May in Indianapolis, so we’re really looking forward to both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and, of course, the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.”

Rossi, Dixon Lead Honda 1-2 in Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Qualifying

Rossi, Dixon Lead Honda 1-2 in Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Qualifying

  • Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon lock out front row for Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
  • Defending race winner Rossi claims first pole of 2019, fifth pole of his career

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 13, 2019) – The Honda-powered duo of defending race winner Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon led the way Saturday in NTT IndyCar Series qualifying for Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.  

It is Rossi’s fifth career pole, and the native Californian won from the pole here in 2018.  For defending series champion Dixon, this will be his first front-row start in four events this season, with his previous best being a third last weekend at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.  The five-time series champion previously won at Long Beach in 2015.

Graham Rahal will start sixth, with Ryan Hunter-Reay, another Honda-powered previous Long Beach winner, lining up seventh.  Takuma Sato, winner of last week’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, will start eighth, while Circuit of the Americas race winner and series rookie Colton Herta rounds out the top ten.  Sunday’s 85-lap Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach starts at 4 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) pole qualifier, won from pole in 2018: “That was way harder than [qualifying on the pole] last year.  These Napa Andretti Honda boys did such an awesome job.  To lead the final practice [Saturday morning] and then qualify on the pole against the most competitive field I think we’ve ever had is just a huge testament to the team.  This one’s big.  I wasn’t expecting it, to be honest.  I think we’ve had a good car all year, but we haven’t had the best car yet this year, so we knew coming here we had to execute.  This is Step One.  We know how to win from pole here, so hopefully, we can do Step Two tomorrow.”

Dixon Leads Honda 1-2-3 Result in Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Practice

Dixon Leads Honda 1-2-3 Result in Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Practice

  • Scott Dixon tops time charts in opening-day IndyCar Series action at Long Beach
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay and rookie Felix Rosenqvist round out top three for Honda
  • Previous Long Beach winners Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe post top-10 times

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2019) – The Honda-powered trio of Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Felix Rosenqvist led the way Friday at opening day NTT IndyCar Series practice in preparation for Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.  It was the second year in a row that Dixon, a winner here in 2015, has led first day practice activities on the Southern California street circuit.

Hunter-Reay, the winner here in 2010, and Rosenqvist, Dixon’s rookie teammate at Chip Ganassi Racing, rounded out the top three as Honda drivers claimed seven of the top ten times in the debut of Acura as title sponsor for the 47th running of the classic event.  Alexander Rossi, Graham Rahal, and Circuit of the America’s race winner Colton Herta ended the day sixth through eighth, respectively.  James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top 10 for Honda.

Activities on the temporary street circuit continue tomorrow with final practice and qualifying.  Sunday’s 85-lap race starts at 4 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) quickest in opening-day practice: “I think it was only an average run. I think I missed the timing line when I went to get the fast lap out of it. We ran long, and the grip felt high, but I made a pretty big mistake in the first two laps. But the PNC Bank car was strong and it was good this morning. I think the Hondas look strong. As you can tell, every weekend it’s super tight and the mix is quite heavy, so we will have to see what we can do to try to create a bit of a gap there.”

Acura Returns to Indy Car with Meyer Shank Racing

  Competing as an Acura for one race, the #60 MSR Indy car driven by Jack Harvey will make its debut at this weekend’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach First Acura livery in Indy car since 1994   TORRANCE, Calif., APR. 9, 2019—The Meyer Shank Racing Indy car driven by Jack Harvey will feature…

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Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Race Report

Sato Reigns Supreme at Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Takuma Sato dominates at Barber Motorsports Park Honda drivers sweep victory podium with Scott Dixon second, Sebastien Bourdais third Second Honda NTT IndyCar Series victory in three races   BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 7, 2019) – Takuma Sato dominated today’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama,…

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Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Qualifying

  Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal qualify 1-2 for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Honda drivers claim first five qualifying positions, ten of top-12 grid slots   BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 6, 2019) – Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal led a 1-2 result for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing today in qualifying for Sunday’s Honda Indy…

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Hinchcliffe Paces Field Friday at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

James Hinchclife heads a Honda sweep of the top six positions in Friday practice Rookie race winner Colton Herta continues to impress; runs second Santino Ferrucci, another Honda rookie, rounds out top three BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 5, 2019) – James Hinchcliffe led a sweep of Honda teams and drivers claiming the top six positions Friday…

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Honda Circuit of the Americas Race Report

Herta, Honda Are Texas Tough, Win at Circuit of the Americas Rookie Colton Herta victorious in third NTT IndyCar Series start First victory for Harding Steinbrenner Racing Ryan Hunter-Reay runs third; Honda drivers claim eight of top ten finishing positions   AUSTIN, Texas (March 24, 2019) – Second-generation racer Colton Herta became the youngest winner…

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Rookie Rosenqvist Leads Honda Racers in Practice at Circuit of the Americas

  Felix Rosenqvist runs second-fastest in opening practice sessions Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay end day in top four Inaugural NTT IndyCar Series race at COTA takes place on Sunday AUSTIN, Texas (March 22, 2019) – Rookie Felix Rosenqvist led the way for Honda Friday at the Circuit of the Americas, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver…

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Dixon Begins Title Defense with Second-Place Finish for Honda at St. Petersburg

  Scott Dixon leads the Honda-powered field at NTT IndyCar Series season opener Rookie teammate Felix Rosenqvist impresses, leads 31 laps, finishes fourth Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe round out top-six finishers for Honda ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 10, 2019) – Scott Dixon opened his NTT IndyCar Series title defense with a second-place finish in his…

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