LONG BEACH, Calif – Alexander Rossi spoke on Friday about how in order to win a championship in the NTT IndyCar Series, you need to finish strong on your bad days and maximize the tracks where you’re good at on the good ones.
Barber, the site of last weekend’s race, isn’t his favorite track and he still finished fifth. A race before that at COTA, he was caught by an ill time caution but charged to a ninth place finish. Those are championship winning days.
On Saturday, it was another example.
See, Long Beach is a great track for him. He started on the pole in 2018 and dominated. Rossi, led 71 of 85 laps a year ago in a winning effort. That meant a good qualifying day had to be in store this weekend.
That’s exactly what happened.
Rossi, beat his main rivals for the championship in 2019 in turning a last lap of 1:06.4811-seconds in his No. 27 Honda en route to his fifth career Indy Car pole, four of which coming since the start of last season.
He was extremely happy since his car was fifth and sixth respectively in practice on Friday and quickest this morning. Now, he has a car to beat for Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (4 p.m. ET/NBCSN/IndyCar Radio Network).
Scott Dixon will start alongside of him in second. Dixon, turned in a lap of 1:06.8243-seconds in his No. 9 Honda for his fourth time in the Fast Six in as many tries this season. He’s finished runner-up in the two races that he started in Row 2. Now, can he finish one spot higher with starting one row further up?
Row 2 is an all Penske row with Will Power (1:06.8748-seconds) and Josef Newgarden (1:06.9096-seconds) starting third and fourth respectively. The third Penske driver in Simon Pagenaud rolls off right behind them in fifth after qualifying with a time of 1:07.1877-seconds in his No. 22 Chevrolet.
See, this is great for Penske in that they failed to make the Fast Six last week in Barber. This week, they put all three drivers in the top five of the starting lineup.
Graham Rahal rounded out the fast six and will start sixth after a lap of 1:07.3052-seconds.
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Starting Lineup
Row 1: Alexander Rossi, Scott Dixon
Row 2: Will Power, Josef Newgarden
Row 3: Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal
Row 4: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Takuma Sato
Row 5: Pato O’Ward R, Colton Herta R
Row 6: Marco Andretti, Felix Rosenqvist R
Row 7: Santino Ferrucci R, Sebastien Bourdais
Row 8: James Hinchcliffe, Max Chilton
Row 9: Ed Jones, Jack Harvey
Row 10: Marcus Ericsson R, Matheus Leist
Row 11: Tony Kanaan, Zach Veach
Row 12: Spencer Pigot
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