IndyCar Veterans Take Control During Long Beach Qualifying

Rookies have been a talking point since the first practice session of the season at St. Petersburg. However today, the Veterans got to put on a show during qualifying at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

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IndyCar Veterans Take Control During Long Beach Qualifying
Fuente imagen: IndyCar

IndyCar qualifying on street courses is one of the most entertaining things one can watch in racing. Drivers almost throwing the car into the wall trying to get everything out of a fresh set of Firestone red alternate tires makes for quite a spectacle, and is one of the reasons why IndyCar is arguably the most diverse racing series in the world.

Group One of Round One of qualifying did not dissappoint with unpredictability. AJ Foyt Enterprises driver Tony Kanaan took the risk of going out early on reds after everyone had made a run on the black primary tires. Kanaan got himself into the fast six of the session but ended up putting the car into the tire barrier, effectively ending the session.

Eleventh in the session was Kanaan, for Formula One driver Marcus Ericsson was tenth and Ed Jones ninth. James Hinchcliffe has been quick all weekend but never got a chance to finish a flying lap on the alternate set of tires and ended a dissappointing eighth in the session. Rookies Santino Ferrucci and Felix Rosenqvist were seventh and sixth in the group, with Rosenqvist advancing to round two because of the ruling on Kanaan's red flag. Will Power and Graham Rahal were fifth and fourth respectively. The top three in the session were Team Penske's Josef Newgarden, Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Rahal's Takuma Sato.

Group two was more of the same, just without a red flag. Spencer Pigot was last in the group, a tenth behind Zach Veach and Foyt's Metheus Leist. Ninth in the session was Jack Harvey who was directly behind Carlin's Max Chilton. Four time series champion Sebastien Bourdais was seventh behind Patricio O'Ward. The youngest winner in IndyCar history ended up fifth, that being Colton Herta of Harding Steinbrenner Racing. Marco Andretti was fourth as Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top three.

The second round of qualifying had a mix of series veterans and rookies. Rosenqvist was in the top three looking to move on to the fast six when he locked up his tires and slid hard into the tire barrier. The Ganassi driver finished twelfth in the group. Second generation driver Marco Andretti ended eleventh, right behind Colton Herta. Carlin's Patricio O'Ward was ninth as Barber race winner finished 8th in the group. Ryan Hunter-Reay was less than a tenth off of advancing to the fast six as he finished just behind Josef Newgarden. Graham Rahal was fifth right behind Will Power. Penske's Pagenaud was third as Alexander Rossi and five time series champion Scott Dixon rounded out the top spots in group 2.

The Firestone Fast Six was made up of a combined eight series championships, three Indy 500 wins, and 112 wins as veterans prevailed. Rahal Letterman Lanigan's Graham Rahal finished sixth in the session. Team Penske finished with Pagenaud, Newgarden, and Power qualifying fifth, fourth and third. Scott Dixon had the fastest lap, was on a lap that was even quicker, but decided to back off, leaving the door open for Alexander Rossi to push on his last lap and take the pole position from Dixon. Rossi did exactly that, taking his fifth career pole in the NTT IndyCar Series.

Catch the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach tommorow at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on NBCSN as the NTT IndyCar Series roars into action!

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