Alexander Rossi Dominates the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

For the second year in a row, a crown jewel on the IndyCar schedule belongs to Andretti Autosport driver Alexander Rossi. Taking his #27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda to victory lane for the first time in the 2019 IndyCar season.

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Alexander Rossi Dominates the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Fuente imagen: IndyCar

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach has long been a staple on the IndyCar calendar, or a crown jewel, perhaps. And for the second year in a row, Andretti Autosport driver Alexander Rossi dominated the weekend, winning both the pole, and leading 80 of the 85 laps on his way to victory lane. However aside from the race winner, the last lap was marred by controversy that cost Graham Rahal a spot on the podium.

When the green flag dropped, it seemed like the start of the race was once again going to be a clean one. That, however, did not turn out to be the case as Andretti Autosport driver Zach Veach got into the back of of one of the AJ Foyt Enterprise entries, causing that car to stall slightly, which in return made Meyer Shank Racing Jack Harvey swerve into the flowers and Marcus Ericsson to hit the back of a car. Ericsson's day was seemingly over. Ed Carpenter Racing's Spencer Pigot was on the wrong side of this incident as well, he got into the back of Veach and stalled his car right outside of the fountain sector. 

The race restarted, and was green from here on out. Sebastien Bourdais had zero telemetry for the restart, but would later have that issue fixed. Rossi and Dixon from the get go would start to pull away from everyone else, however as Rossi would pull away, the closer Dixon got to those of whom who were behind him. 

Quickly after the restart, Carlin Racing rookie Patricio O'Ward looked to be on the right track, but started falling backwards pretty quickly. There wasn't really a specific issue that was brought up, but O'Ward had been fighting the car all weekend and seemed to struggle in traffic. Around that same time Rossi had already stretched his lead to over 1.5 seconds, and had no expectation of slowing down. 

Even though there was a lack of passing compared to the normal IndyCar race, there were quite a few moments that caused teams to scramble and potentially gamble on a yellow. The first situation was Dale Coyne Racing rookie Santino Ferrucci, who got into the runoff area and stalled. Just a year ago, that would have been a full course yellow, but race director Kyle Novak has been rather stingent about throwing the yellow flag in instances like that

Ferrucci's situation is very similar to what happened as the last race at Barber Motorsports Park where Graham Rahal had stalled on track and Max Chilton hit the tire barrier on the way into pit road. They did not throw a yellow flag at first, letting all of the leaders pit before throwing the full course yellow. Atleast there is consistancy, but there still may need to be some clarification as to what will cause a yellow on road and street courses. 

Will Power was another driver who ruined his shot at a podium by being overzealous in defending a position going into turn one. He locked up and couldn't make the turn due to the marbles on his tires, and went into the turn one run off area but fortunately did not stall the car. Power got back out on track, only losing a few positions. 

Circuit of the America's winner Colton Herta of Harding Steinbrenner Racing was the only driver to have significant contact after the restart. Right after the midpoint in the race, Herta overcooked it going into turn nine and hit the wall. Bending a suspenion arm and breaking his front wing, this forced him to retire from the race.

These were not what the race will be remembered for, and unfortunately, neither will the dominance by Alexander Rossi. At the end of the race, coming out of turn eight, Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon had a run on Graham Rahal. Rahal proceded to make a move to protect his position, making slight contact with Dixon's front wing. This move prevented Dixon from getting by, and prevented Rahal from earning a podium finish as he got that spot taken away from him. 

Rahal, in an interview directly after the incident, said that he did indeed block, but that it was not in reaction to what Dixon was doing on track. Rahal then stated that this type of thing happens all the time, and isn't called as consistantly as some drivers would like it to be. Will this be used as a benchmark for race control the rest of the season? Yes. Will this also be held against race control for the rest of the season should they be inconsistent? Yes. Only time will tell how this situation is handled. Congratulations to Alexander Rossi, now a two time winner of the prestigious Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

IndyCar will be on track next at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for an open test on the oval on Wednesday, April 24th. Streaming of the event will be available on

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