April 15, 2019
Rossi, Honda Rule at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
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.
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.
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."
Photo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/871745/Honda_Racing_HPD___Alexander_Rossi___Acura_Grand_Prix_of_Long_Beach.jpg
SOURCE Honda Racing/HPD]]>