Alexander Rossi Dominates Acura IndyCar Grand Prix Of Long Beach

Newgarden Second, Dixon A Controversial Third

Scott Stiller
April 15, 2019 - 12:59 am
Alexander Rossi And Andretti Autosport Win IndyCar Grand Prix Of Long Beach

Chris Owens-IndyCar Series

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Long Beach, CA (93.7 The Fan) -- Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi beat Team Penske's Josef Newgarden by 20.2359-seconds to win Sunday's NTT IndyCar Series Acura Grand Prix At Long Beach.

Rossi led all but five of the 85-laps on the iconic 11-turn temporary street course after starting from the pole position to become the first back-to-back winner at Long Beach since Sebastien Bourdais won three-in-a-row from 2005-2007.  The win was Rossi's first of the year and sixth of his career.

"The NAPA Auto Parts crew gave me such a great race car," said Rossi.  "This is the 200th win for Andretti Autosport, so what better way to do it than in that type of fashion at Long Beach and here in California.  This is a special one.  I just found out my Grandfather died yesterday, so I wanted to dedicate this (win) to him and obviously Michael (Andretti) for the 200th win."

Newgarden started fourth in the No. 2 Hitachi Chevy and stayed out one more lap than the leaders before the first pit stop and used that clear track to his advantage and he gained a few positions in the process but came up one short.

"We didn't have anything for him (Alexander Rossi) today," said Newgarden, who retains the NTT IndyCar Series points lead.  "We did have good strategy, we leap-frogged Will (Power) and (Scott) Dixon.  And then I'm just wondering where everyone was at.  The Hitachi car felt good.  Just a little short."

Dixon started second in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and remained in second until disaster struck on his first pit stop.  Dixon's crew had an issue with fuel rig and by the time they rectified and sent the five-time champion on his way, he had spent 18-seconds on pit road and fell to sixth.

Dixon worked his way up to fourth on the last lap and made an attempt to pass Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Graham Rahal but Rahal's No. 15 Total Honda beat Dixon to the checkered flag.

Race control however determined Rahal blocked Dixon's passing attempt and penalized the driver one position, behind Dixon, in the final standings.  The IndyCar rule for blocking states that a driver may be penalized for making a move in reaction to another driver's efforts to overtake.

"It was unfortunate with the Graham Rahal incident," said Dixon.  "I think he overshot turn 8 and then quickly tried to turn in reaction, and the rule is you can't come back to defend if somebody's already there, and that's what happened."

"It's not that tough of a pill to swallow," said Rahal.  "We were going to lose the spot anyway.  My front (tires) were abosolutly gone.  We're just going to have to discuss it with the officials."

Rossi's teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay rouned out the top 5.

The NTT IndyCar Series is off until an open test April 24th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for May's "Greatest spectacle in racing."

 

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