Rossi Wins Long Beach IndyCar Pole

35th Grand Prix of Long Beach This Afternoon

Scott Stiller
April 15, 2018 - 8:06 am
Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

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Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi is on the pole for Sunday's Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach after a blistering lap of 106.454 mph (1-minute, 6.5528-seconds) around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary circuit on the city streets of Long Beach, California.

Rossi's No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda's best lap was more than three-tenths of a second quicker than second place qualifier Will Power of Team Penske, who's best lap was 105.893 (1:06.9054).

"The team definitely executed some NAPA Know How today and we are really happy to start from the best spot," Rossi said.  "Obviously you go out every single session and believe that you have the best car and the best opportunity to do it.  The team is doing a great job."

"It was good," Power said.  "I felt like we had a really good car, just were not fast enough basically to be on the pole, but very happy to be on the front row."  

Power's Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud qualified third with a speed of 105.884 (1:06.9107).  Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon qualified fourth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda with a speed of 105.667 (1:07.0483).

"We made some pretty hefty changes before qualifying and the car came back to where we needed it," Dixon said.  "Overall, I'm happy with the result and know we can get the PNC Bank car to the winner's circle from this spot."

Graham Rahal rounded out the Top 5 with a speed of 105.542 (1:07.0483) in the No. 15 Total Honda for Rahal, Letterman, Lanigan Racing and was happy with the result.

"You can always look back and say here or there maybe you had a tenth or two, but certainly....I didn't have the speed to be anywhere near Alex" Rahal said.

A final 30-minute warmup practice takes place Noon Sunday with the 85-lap race starting at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the IndyCar Radio Network.