RACE RECAP: Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Photographer: Spacesuit Media
Alexander Rossi took Long Beach Qualifying by storm capturing a fifth career pole position in a final fast lap. The front row start marks consecutive pole positions on the Streets of Long Beach for the California native.
Ryan Hunter-Reay sat fourth on the overall time charts heading into qualifying, after leading Friday's Practice 1 and advanced easily from Segment 1 to the top 12. After a red flag shortened the session and tire selection fell short, the 28 team missed out on advancing to the Firestone Fast Six, falling to a seventh grid position.
U.S. Concrete driver Marco Andretti earned his best qualifying spot of 2019 after advancing from Segment 1 into the top 12. An untimely red flag shortened Segment 2, leaving the 98 on the outside of the Fast Six in 11th.
Struggling for speeds on the Firestone Alternate Red compound, the 26 car lacked the pace to advance from the first round, taking a 22nd grid position for sophomore driver Zach Veach.
CHASING THE CHECKERS:
The 2010 Grand Prix of Long Beach race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay rolled off from the seventh position and maintained pace with the front pack throughout the day. After setting the race's fastest lap on Lap 27, the 28 team went on to record Hunter-Reay's 64th career top-five finish in fifth. The result rose the DHL driver three spots in the points standings, exiting Long Beach in fifth.
Marco Andretti felt confident in his U.S. Concrete / Curb machine after the morning warm up session where he finished second on the time sheets. However when the green flag dropped, Andretti felt his car wasn't the same as where they left it after that final session. The third-generation driver fell two spots when the checkered flag was waved, settling for a 13th-place finish in his 221st NTT IndyCar Series start.
Gainbridge driver Zach Veach was looking to work his way through the field throughout the 85-lap race after starting from the rear of the field. The No. 26 car struggled to find balance on the Firestone Reds all weekend, but charged to 14th before a miscalculation in the fuel number needed to finish the race forced the black and yellow machine to conserve fuel and fall to 17th.