Friday at Long Beach

With arguably the second most prestigious race on the IndyCar calendar coming up in two days. Teams got their opportunity to see where they stand as practice game to a close on Friday afternoon

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Friday at Long Beach
Fuente imagen: IndyCar

Everyone in the IndyCar paddock wants to win the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, however that doesn't happen unless the team has a good car for both qualifying and the race. With street circuits not being the easiest to pass on, as well as with the fact that there are often very few cautions at Long Beach, it makes practice even more important throughout the weekend.

Street circuits with the UAK18 aerokit are sketchy to say the least, however they seem to be pretty clean for the most part up until the green flag flies on race day. This season, Chip Ganassi Racing seems to have the street circuit setup all figured out, as drivers Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist had the two fasted laps of the day. Another strong driver was Andretti Autosport's Ray Hunter-Reay, who ended with the second quickest time of the day in between the two Ganassi drivers.

Other than Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport seemed to only have one other driver who was on the right page in terms of speed. That driver is Alexander Rossi who ended in the top six in each of the two sessions. Marco Andretti and Zach Veach continued their 2019 struggles as Marco finished ninth in session two and Veach finished twelfth. Colton Herta, essentially an Andretti junior driver for Harding Steinbrenner Racing, started the day on a high note finishing third in the first session but ended up thirteenth in the second.

Team Penske seems to have brought their struggles from Barber Motorsports Park with them to the west coast as the best result of the day was Josef Newgarden, who was fourth in session two. Driver of the DXC Technology Chevy Simon Pagenaud finished 8th in both sessions with a best time of 1:08.232. While former IndyCar Champion and 2018 Indy 500 winner finished no higher than tenth. In the season opener in St. Petersburg, Penske had very similar pace but ended up with a car on pole and dominated the race. So it is safe to say that nobody knows what to expect out the team.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing had an up and down day with driver Graham Rahal finishing handely into the top ten in each session. Takuma Sato, the winner of the last race at Barber Motorsports Park, did not have the best of days as he barely registered a top fifteen time for the MiJack sponsored Honda. Another team that had an up and down day was Carlin Racing. Both drivers Max Chilton and Patricion O'Ward ended up far down the order in the first session, however had a change in fortunes through the second session as both drivers finished in the top eleven for the day. 

Both Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport and Dale Coyne Racing each had days that they are probably not the most proud of. Granted this is just a practice day, each team failed to replicate the speed they had on the streets of St. Petersburg, with the exception of Hinchcliffe who finished in the top ten in both sessions. 

AJ Foyt Enterprises had another dissappointing day, with Matheus Leist having a mechanical issue that hampered the teams' effort in the second session. Tony Kanaan finished each session within the top fifteen, but still hasn't done anything to prove that this team can win a race outside of a high speed oval. Lastly, Ed Carpenter Racing had arguably the least satifying day out of any team in the field, with Ed Jones and Spencer Pigot both failing to make the top fifteen in either session.

Coverage of IndyCar continues tomorrow on NBC Sports Gold with practice at noon Eastern time. Qualifying coverage begins on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold just three hours later, quickly followed by IMSA's BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. IndyCar's final warmup session begins on Sunday at noon Eastern time. Catch the IndyCar's Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on NBCSN at 4:30 p.m. Eastern to see who will be crowned the next winner this prestigious race! 

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