Alexander Rossi was the king of Long Beach as he turned a dominating performance in the 45th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The win is Rossi's sixth NTT IndyCar Series win and his fourth from pole.

The 2018 championship runner up began his journey to his victory on Saturday with a blistering pole lap. He picked up where he left off at the green flag as he got a jump on outside polesitter Scott Dixon.

Dixon drew alongside Rossi on the frontstretch but Rossi cleared him coming out of Turn 1.

A few drivers in the back of the grid came together in the fountain turn including as Jack Harvey, Spencer Pigot and Marcus Ericsson which brought out the race's only full course caution.

Dixon tried to get a jump on Rossi on the Lap 3 restart, but Rossi once again defended the spot and began to pull away.

The 27-year-old from Nevada City, California stretched his lead out to five seconds before the first round of pitstops began on Lap 26. The leading pair pitted together with Rossi easily keeping the point.

While the leaders pitted, the Team Penske pair of Will Power and Josef Newgarden stayed out to set some fast laps in clear traffic.

The move paid off as they leapfrogged Dixon during the pitstop exchange to move into second and third.

The Power/Dixon battle didn't last long as Power suffered a misfire coming off Turn 11 on Lap 35. That allowed Dixon to get a run heading into Turn 1 and forced Power off line and he elected to use the escape road rather than risk hitting Dixon. He avoided contact with the tyre barriers and rejoined the field in eighth place.

Meanwhile, Rossi’s lead grew to nearly 12 seconds by lap 50 when Colton Herta hit the barrier in Turn 9. That damaged left front suspension and wing and ended the winner at COTA’s race.

The second pit cycle opened up on Lap 55 as Ryan Hunter-Reay was the first of the leaders to pit. His teammate Marco Andretti pitted on the same lap.

Rossi and Dixon made their final stops a lap later on Lap 56 but had opposite stops. Rossi’s stop was flawless while Dixon’s crew made a rare mistake and had issues fueling his No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.

Josef Newgarden led one lap before pitting on Lap 57 which handed the lead back to Rossi with Dixon’s mistake elevating Graham Rahal to third.

Rossi picked up where he left off and increased his lead up to 20 seconds as Dixon clawed his way back to Rahal’s rear wing.

With no competition around him, Rossi took the win with 20.2359s in the bank over Newgarden.

Newgarden’s second place gives him his third podium in three races this season and increases his points lead to 28 over Rossi.

Rahal crossed the line ahead of Dixon, but Rahal received a penalty for blocking and moved back to fourth.

Hunter-Reay completed the top five as he claimed his second top five of the season.

Simon Pagenaud scored his best result of the season so far with a sixth-place finish while Team Penske teammate Power fought his way back from his earlier mistake to finish seventh.

A pair of former race winners occupied the next two positions led by Takuma Sato in eighth and James Hinchliffe claiming ninth.

Felix Rosenqvist was the leading rookie of the day and completed the top ten.

The remaining rookies in the field had bad luck as an early accident knocked Marcus Ericsson down to 20th while Santino Ferrucci went off track in Turn 1 on lap 28 and stalled. He rejoined the race and finished 21st.

Colton Herta was the only retiree from the race following his contact with the Turn 9 wall on Lap 50 and ended the race 23rd.

Comments

Loading Comments...