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Rossi On IndyCar Pole In Long Beach

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 14 2018

Alexander Rossi won the pole for Sunday’s Long Beach Grand Prix on Saturday. (RacinToday file photo by Martha Fairris)

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Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport captured the pole for Sunday’s Long Beach Grand Prix IndyCar Series race on Saturday.

The pole was the second for Rossi in an Indy car, the first coming at the Watkins Glen road course. He went on to win that race.

“Obviously, you go out every single session and believe that you have the best car and the best opportunity to do it,” said Rossi, who led two of the three practice sessions prior to qualifying. “We have been so strong; we were strong here last year. The NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda has been so fast. The team definitely executed some NAPA know-how today and we’re really happy to start from the best spot (on Sunday).”

Will Power of Team Penske was second fastest in qualifying and will line up next to Rossi on the front row.

“It was good. I felt like we had a really good car,” Power said. “Got to the Fast Six like we needed to, and yeah, just were not fast enough basically to be on pole, but very happy to be on the front row. You know, we’ve kind of crept up all weekend and definitely made the car better and in a good window now. Yeah, that was a lot of fun”

Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske was third fastest.

“It’s a really good result, all three of us in the Fast Six,” Pagenaud said. “It’s not easy these days. I have to say, I just want to pull my hat off to Team Penske for obviously understanding the street course setup. It’s been difficult just because of the success we’ve had with the previous aero kits. We’ve had to rethink a little bit, and three races we’ve been able to do it. Quite impressive I have to say. I’m quite excited to see that we could get the car in such a good place, and myself, I just have to extract a little bit more out of it, but obviously it was a fun and great qualifying.”

Round out the top six were in the Fast Six qualifying final round were Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing, Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and defending series champion Josef Newgarden of Penske.

“We snuck into the Fast Six here last year,” Rahal said. “I’m awfully proud of the Total team for all of their hard work. We were awful in St. Pete and if that’s your last baseline on a street course you never know what you’re going to get when you come into a weekend like this. Tom and the boys have done a fantastic job to put together a really good car.  Obviously we didn’t have that ultimate pace that some of the others did but we’ve got tires for days for the race.

“Strategy wise I think the race is going to be a lot more fun for the fans to watch because this isn’t just going to be a fuel mileage race which it historically is because the new car is so much more fuel efficient so you’re going to be able to run this race on two stops so I think it’s going to be a lot more fun. Hopefully we can go to battle and win this thing.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

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LONG BEACH, California – Qualifying Saturday for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.968-mile Streets of Long Beach circuit, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time and speed in mph in parentheses:

1. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 1:06.5528 (106.454)
2. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 1:06.9054 (105.893)
3. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 1:06.9107 (105.884)
4. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 1:07.0483 (105.667)
5. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 1:07.1275 (105.542)
6. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 1:07.1922 (105.441)
7. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 1:07.1415 (105.520)
8. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 1:07.1899 (105.444)
9. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 1:07.1943 (105.438)
10. (6) Robert Wickens, Honda, 1:07.2289 (105.383)
11. (14) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 1:07.3478 (105.197)
12. (20) Jordan King, Chevrolet, 1:07.6427 (104.739)
13. (10) Ed Jones, Honda, 1:08.3844 (103.603)
14. (4) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 1:08.1622 (103.940)
15. (59) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 1:08.7167 (103.102)
16. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 1:08.1763 (103.919)
17. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 1:08.8207 (102.946)
18. (21) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 1:08.2739 (103.770)
19. (88) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 1:08.8623 (102.884)
20. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 1:08.5294 (103.383)
21. (19) Zachary Claman De Melo, Honda, 1:09.1429 (102.466)
22. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 1:08.6340 (103.226)
23. (23) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 1:09.7481 (101.577)
24. (32) Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, No Time (No Speed)

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 14 2018
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