LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the Grand Prix of Long Beach (all times local):
Alexander Rossi has become the first driver in 12 years to win back-to-back on the streets of Long Beach, and the American joined some of the top stars in racing as multiple winners of the second-biggest race on the IndyCar schedule.
Rossi won the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach from the pole, same as last year, and had the field covered very early. His margin of victory over Josef Newgarden was nearly 20 seconds as Andretti Autosport scored its first win of the season.
Rossi is the eighth driver to win more than once on the temporary street course through the downtown streets of Long Beach. He joined Mario Andretti,
Al Unser Jr., Alex Zanardi, Paul Tracy, Sebastien Bourdais, Will Power and Mike Conway.
Bourdais was the last driver to win consecutive races at Long Beach — he won three straight from 2005 to 2007.
IndyCar rookie Colton Herta has crashed out of his first race.
The American teenager has been one of the fastest drivers at the start of the season and he paced Sunday morning’s warm-up for the Grand Prix of Long Beach. But he lost control of his car on the 50th lap around the street course that ended his race.
Herta was eighth in the season-opening race then became the youngest winner in IndyCar history with a victory in Texas six days before his 19th birthday. Herta finished 24th because of a fuel pressure problem in Alabama next week.
The crash ensured Herta a last-place finish in the 23-car field and spoiled the promotion from new sponsor King Taco, which promised free tacos to any fan with a ticket stub if Herta won the race.
During pit stops after Herta exited the race, reigning series champion lost critical track position when a fueling issue caused a lengthy stop of more than 18 seconds. But Dixon and the rest of the field have chased Alexander Rossi from the start, and the pole-sitter has led by more than 10 seconds at various times of the race.
Marcus Ericsson was assessed a drive-thru penalty for avoidable contact on the first lap of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Ericsson was involved in an incident with Spencer Pigot and Jack Harvey in the opening moments of the race through the streets of Long Beach.
At the same time, Sebastien Bourdais was told by his team it had lost all telemetry and the television monitors were not working on the pit stand. Bourdais replied: “Let’s go have fun and do it old school.”
Alexander Rossi has led the first 15 laps from the pole.
American teen sensation Colton Herta was fastest in IndyCar’s final warm-up for the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Herta last month became the youngest winner in IndyCar history with his victory at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The win came in his second race with upstart Harding Steinbrenner Racing, and only his third overall IndyCar start.
On the temporary street course through downtown Long Beach, Herta showed his Honda is fast by topping the speed chart. He was followed by de-facto teammates Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay, then Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Zach Veach, and Sebastien Bourdais — an eight-car Honda sweep.
Spencer Pigot was the fastest Chevrolet in ninth, but the best Team Penske driver was Will Power in 13th.
Rossi will try to win from the pole for the second consecutive season, but starts alongside five-time IndyCar champion Dixon. It is the highest Dixon has ever started in 12 previous races at Long Beach.
Herta starts 12th but clearly has a fast car and an overwhelming desire to win what is essentially his home race. He’s a second-generation IndyCar driver but still lives with his parents in his childhood in Valencia, roughly 60 miles from downtown Long Beach.
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