Alexander Rossi made the most of Scott Dixon’s rare mistake to take the pole for the 45th annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The six-minute battle for the pole began with everybody but Dixon - Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud – all taking laps.

Dixon waited for a clear track to take a lap and set a benchmark lap of 1:06.7479 seconds.

That enticed everyone to go back out as Dixon made another attempt. Dixon was poised to improve on his time but abruptly aborted his run.

Rossi drew the next blood with a scuffed set of alternate red tyres and responded with a lap of 1:06.4811 seconds around the 1.968-mile street circuit to take his fifth career NTT IndyCar Series pole.

Dixon will start from second, equaling his best starting spot at Long Beach having qualified there in 2016 and 2017.

Team Penske saw all three drivers represented for the first time led this season with two-time Long Beach winner Will Power leading the trio in third and Josef Newgarden ending up fourth in his first fast six since St. Pete. Simon Pagenaud made his first Fast Six appearance since Toronto last July and ended up fifth ahead of Graham Rahal in sixth.

Ryan Hunter-Reay missed the Fast Six by just .0810s and will start seventh for the second straight year. Barber winner Takuma Sato ended up eighth place.

Rookies filled out row five led by former Indy Lights teammates Patricio O’Ward and Colton Herta.

Felix Rosenqvist had the second quickest time in session two but saw his hopes to make the Firestone Fast Six for the third time crushed after he crashed hard in the tire barriers in Turn Nine. The shunt removed his two quickest laps and relegated him to 12th on the grid.

Three-time Long Beach winner Sebastien Bourdais struggled in his session and ended up 15th on the grid.

Tony Kanaan looked to make it into Q2 but crashed on his flying lap in Turn 6 and dropped him to 24th. Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Erricson found themselves in 15th and 19th respectively.

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