Rossi converted pole position at Long Beach into his third IndyCar victory
Alexander Rossi scored his third IndyCar Series victory in a career by winning the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday. After two podiums in the first two races of the season, Rossi finally reached the top podium spot but also took over the lead in the championship.
After starting from pole position, the driver of the #27 Napa Auto Parts Andretti Autosport Honda was leading in 71 of 85 laps on the 1.986-mile iconic street course, crossing the finish line 1.2413 seconds ahead of Will Power, who started and finished second in the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Ed Jones of Chip Ganassi Racing completed a podium by finishing third in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda. Rookie Zach Veach scored a career-best fourth place in the #26 Andretti Autosport Honda.
Rossi was dominant during the entire race, having the biggest lead of nine seconds on lap 34. He wasn’t in the lead only during the cycle of pit stops. The race was slowed down by four full-course cautions. The last restart was on lap 76 and Rossi managed to hold off Power behind him.
After three races, Rossi leads with 126 points on his account, 22 more than reigning champion Josef Newgarden who finished seventh on Sunday. Graham Rahal is third in the championship standings, eleven points behind Newgarden.
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action soon, on Sunday, April 22, with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Photos: Chris Owens,