Rossi, Honda Dominate Long Beach Qualifying

4/15/2018 12:44:00 AM

  • Alexander Rossi clears the field in knockout qualifying
  • Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal also advance to final qualifying round
  • Seven Honda drivers to start from top-10 positions

Alexander Rossi took his Andretti Autosport Honda to the pole today in qualifying for Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, leading both the opening and final rounds of "knockout" IndyCar Series qualifying. In the third and last round, Rossi's time of 1 minute, 06.5528 seconds was 0.3526 seconds quicker than nearest rival Will Power, and a larger gap than that which  covered the entire remaining Fast Six final qualifiers.

Scott Dixon, the 2015 Long Beach winner, and Graham Rahal also advanced to final round qualifying for Honda. Another four Honda drivers advanced as far as the second qualifying round, including Ryan Hunter-Reay, defending race winner James Hinchcliffe, impressive rookie Robert Wickens and St. Petersburg race winner Sebasties Bourdais. 

In all, seven Honda drivers will start from the top-10 grid positions in Sunday's third round of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series.  The 85-lap race starts at 4 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) pole qualifier, first pole of 2018 and second career IndyCar Series pole: "The whole Andretti Autosport NAPA team has done such a great job, and Honda has continued their development and their push in the off-season, so it's a huge result for us, and I think that we've been – we were close in St. Pete, had we not had the penalty on the qualifying. So, to get the pole here was good, a good start for tomorrow.  But this sport has a way of humbling you pretty quick, so we have to execute against tomorrow, and hopefully we can get that redemption we're talking about."

Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Circuit: Long Beach Convention Center (1.968-mile temporary street circuit) Long Beach, Calif.
2017 Winner: James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) 90.845 mph average
Weather: Sunny, warm, 79 degrees F

Top-12 Qualifying Results:

Ps.

Driver      

Team

Manufacturer

Best Time

Notes

  1.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:06.5528

106.454 mph avg.

  2.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:06.9054

+0.3531 seconds

  3.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:06.9107

Fast Six Final Qualifying

  4.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

1:07.0483

Fast Six

  5.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

1:07.1275

Fast Six

  6.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:07.1922

Fast Six

  7.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:07.1415

2nd Round Qualifying

  8.

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

1:07.1899

2nd Round

  9.

Sebastien Bourdais

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan      

Honda

1:07.1943

2nd Round

10.

Robert Wickens-R

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

1:07.2289

2nd Round

11.

Tony Kanaan

A.J. Foyt Racing

Chevrolet

1:07.3478

2nd Round

12.

Jordan King

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet

1:07.6427

2nd Round

Other Honda Results

13.

Ed Jones

Chip Ganassi Racing            

Honda

1:08.3844

1st Round, Group 1

16.

Zach Veach-R

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:08.1763

1st Round, Group 2

17.

Jack Harvey-R

Michael Shank Racing

Honda

1:08.8207

1st Round, Group 1

20.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:08.5294

1st Round, Group 2

21.

Zachary Claman DeMelo-R

Dale Coyne Racing                

Honda

1:09.1429

1st Round, Group 1

22.

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

1:08.6340

1st Round, Group 2


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