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The Shoreline Drive: A Recap of the Long Beach Grand Prix

The IndyCar Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach took place April 19 through April 21 in Downtown Long Beach, in which a Chip Ganassi Racing driver claimed victory.

On Friday, the first practice began at 4 pm PST and lasted around 45 minutes. Each team managed to race an average of 27 laps around the track. During the last minute of the practice, a red flag was given due to an incident by car No. 4 driven by Kyffin Simpson, from the Chip Ganassi Racing team. After the practice resumed, it was the No.5 Arrow McLaren SP car driven by Pato O’ Ward who finished on top with a time of 1:06:6874.

On Saturday, it was the second practice of the weekend along with the qualifying sessions. The qualifying session is divided first by two groups during round 1 and then a round two and finally the top drivers move onto the Firestone Fast Six. In the first round, group one qualifying session it was Felix Rosenqvist of Meyer Shank Racing who took the top spot with a time of 1:06:3372. In the round one, group two qualifying session it was Marcus Armstrong for Chip Ganassi Racing who came out on top with a time of 1:06:1509.  For the second round of the qualifying session, the top six of each round compete in order to make it to the Firestone Fast Six. Alex Palou, another driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, topped the chart with a time of 01:05.9103. The Firestone Fast Six consisted of Felix Rosenqvist, Will Power for Team Penske, Josef Newgarden for Team Penske, Colton Herta for Andretti Global, Marcus Ericsson for Andretti Global and Alex Palou. After each car ran about four laps, it was Rosenqvist that ultimately landed pole position for the race with a time of 1:06:0172.

Courtesy of Michael L. Levitt/Motorsport Images

“It doesn’t come easy, every lap out there, it's like you’re ‘flirting’ with the walls,” said Rosenqvist. “Yeah, it was a fun one.”

On race day, the roar of the crowd could be heard as the drivers started their engines in preparation for the race. All eyes seemed to be on the No. 6 Theo Pouchaire with Arrow McLaren as it was his first time competing in an IndyCar race. During the qualifying session he came up short in advancing for round two of the qualifying session. By the second lap, Will Power had managed to take the lead and led for a total of 15 laps. It was during the 15th lap that rookie Christian Rasmussen of Ed Carpenter Racing clipped the exit of turn four, which caused a yellow flag and thus ending his race. During the caution flag, many cars went into the pit lane including new race leader Josef Newgarden.

On the 62nd lap, race leader Colton Herta and runner-up Alex Palou came into the pit lane making a clear path for Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing to take the lead. Dixon managed to lead the last 23 and claim victory at Long Beach. The top three that finished were Scott Dixon, Colton Herta and Alex Palou.

The race proved to be a tough one for many of the drivers, including runner up Herta and third place driver Palou. Many struggled with strategies and the pit stops yet the top three were able to persevere against all odds.

Courtesy of Fabiola Aceves

“You just gotta keep doing what you can do,” said Herta at the post-race conference. “When you’re having your off days, finishing the top 10.”

Dixon’s victory was his second victory here in Long Beach, the first one being in Indy Lights in 1999. This win was extra special to Dixon because it was a home race for the Honda team.

Courtesy of Fabiola Aceves

“Huge shout out to everyone on the Honda team. It's their home race here,” said Dixon. I had a fun time driving my Honda today.”

Edited by: Kendall Merriett

Social Content Created by: Callista Carreiro

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