Long Beach IndyCar: Rossi beats Dixon, Power to pole

Alexander Rossi delivered a brilliant qualifying lap to score his second consecutive Long Beach IndyCar pole by over a quarter of a second to beat Scott Dixon, the three Team Penske-Chevrolets and Graham Rahal.

Long Beach IndyCar: Rossi beats Dixon, Power to pole

Andretti Autosport-Honda driver Rossi lapped the 1.968-mile course in 66.481s, at an average speed of 106.569mph, to beat Dixon by 0.2668sec. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver appeared to be on a faster run but abandoned his effort at Turn 9.

Will Power, despite struggling through practice, conjured up a time – albeit 0.4sec off pole – good enough to beat Penske teammates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud, as well as Rahal's Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) was the surprise exclusion at the end of Q2 as he tried to advance using scuffed alternate compound Firestones to save himself a new set for the Firestone Fast Six. He will start alongside Barber Motorsports Park winner Takuma Sato in the second RLLR-Honda, who tried the exact same tactic.

Patricio O’Ward slotted his Carlin Racing-Chevy into ninth alongside his former Indy Lights rival and teammate Colton Herta of Harding Steinbrenner Racing, with Marco Andretti in 11th.

Ganassi’s second car, that of Felix Rosenqvist, blew his chances of making it into the Firestone Fast Six, having just claimed second-fastest time during Q2. He locked up under braking at the end of the back straight, and skidded down the escape road where he thumped into a tire barrier, bringing out the red flags. He lost his two fastest times and will start 12th.

Tony Kanaan shunted at Turn 6 during Q1 Group 1, just after using an early switch to red alternate tires to lift his AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy into the top six to advance to Q2. The inevitable red flag that followed cost him his best times, but also occurred late enough in the segment that it killed off the chances of those who hadn’t yet set a time on alternate Firestones.

These included both Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda drivers, James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson, as well as Santino Ferrucci in the Dale Coyne Racing-Honda and Ed Jones in the Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.

Three-time Long Beach winner Sebastien Bourdais in the Dale Coyne Racing Vasser-Sullivan Honda was eliminated in Q1 Group 2 by a wall-brushing late effort from Herta, while Max Chilton (Carlin), Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank-SPM), Matheus Leist (Foyt), Zach Veach (Andretti) and Spencer Pigot (ECR) also dropped out.

Firestone Fast Six:

Pos. # Driver Team Time Gap
1 27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'06.4811  
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'06.7479 0.2668
3 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'06.8748 0.3937
4 2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'06.9096 0.4285
5 22 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 1'07.1877 0.7066
6 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.3052 0.8241

Q2:

Pos. # Driver Team Time Gap
1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'06.6566  
2 27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'06.7644 0.1078
3 22 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 1'06.9328 0.2762
4 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'06.9620 0.3054
5 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.0414 0.3848
6 2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'07.0710 0.4144
7 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.1520 0.4954
8 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.2626 0.6060
9 31 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United Kingdom Carlin 1'07.2764 0.6198
10 88 United States Colton Herta United States Harding Racing 1'07.7721 1.1155
11 98 United States Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport 1'08.3746 1.7180
12 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'08.4410 1.7844

Q1 Group 2:

POs. # Driver Team Time Gap
1 27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'06.8621  
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'07.0080 0.1459
3 22 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 1'07.1474 0.2853
4 98 United States Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.2040 0.3419
5 88 United States Colton Herta United States Harding Racing 1'07.2201 0.3580
6 31 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United Kingdom Carlin 1'07.2620 0.3999
7 18 France Sébastien Bourdais United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'07.3135 0.4514
8 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 1'07.4577 0.5956
9 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'07.5287 0.6666
10 4 Brazil Matheus Leist United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'07.7317 0.8696
11 26 United States Zach Veach United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.7822 0.9201
12 21 United States Spencer Pigot United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'07.8763 1.0142

Q1 Group 1:

Pos. # Driver Team Time Gap
1 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.7245  
2 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.7307 0.0062
3 2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'07.7836 0.0591
4 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.8102 0.0857
5 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'08.0121 0.2876
6 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'08.0811 0.3566
7 19 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'08.1008 0.3763
8 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'08.1811 0.4566
9 20 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'08.7711 1.0466
10 7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'08.9516 1.2271
11 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 3'22.3800 2'14.6555

GRID LINE-UP

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'06.4811   106.569
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'06.7479 0.2668 106.143
3 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'06.8748 0.3937 105.941
4 2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'06.9096 0.4285 105.886
5 22 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 1'07.1877 0.7066 105.448
6 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.3052 0.8241 105.264
7 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.1520 0.6709 105.504
8 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.2626 0.7815 105.330
9 31 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United Kingdom Carlin 1'07.2764 0.7953 105.309
10 88 United States Colton Herta United States Harding Racing 1'07.7721 1.2910 104.539
11 98 United States Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport 1'08.3746 1.8935 103.617
12 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'08.4410 1.9599 103.517
13 19 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'08.1008 1.6197 104.034
14 18 France Sébastien Bourdais United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'07.3135 0.8324 105.251
15 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'08.1811 1.7000 103.911
16 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 1'07.4577 0.9766 105.026
17 20 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'08.7711 2.2900 103.020
18 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing 1'07.5287 1.0476 104.915
19 7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'08.9516 2.4705 102.750
20 4 Brazil Matheus Leist United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'07.7317 1.2506 104.601
21 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 3'22.3800 2'15.8989 35.007
22 26 United States Zach Veach United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.7822 1.3011 104.523
23 21 United States Spencer Pigot United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'07.8763 1.3952 104.378
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Long Beach IndyCar: Rossi edges Rahal, Dixon in third practice

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