Californian Alexander Rossi out-did himself Sunday at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, winning his second-consecutive race before a sellout crowd at the race considered to be among the most prestigious in IndyCar racing.
As tens of thousands of fans looked on, the 27-year-old Rossi — driving a Honda for the Andretti Autosport team — led all but five of the 85 laps around the 1.968-mile circuit.
Rossi, a native of Nevada City, California, roared past the finish line almost 20.24 seconds ahead of Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden.
In winning his sixth IndyCar race since his career began in 2016, Rossi became the first driver to win back-to-back races on the Long Beach course circuit since Sebastien Bourdais won three in a row in 2005-07.
It was the largest margin of victory at Long Beach since Al Unser Jr. beat Scott Pruett by more than 23 seconds in 1995.
It also gave Andretti Autosport its 200th race win in all motorsports in which the team has competed since 2003. Sixty-three of those victories have come in IndyCar competition.
By finishing second in the No. 2 in the 45th Long Beach Grand Prix Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, Newgarden kept the IndyCar series championship lead after the fourth of 17 races, heading into two May races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — the IndyCar Grand Prix on May 11 and the famed Indianapolis 500 on May 26.
Reigning IndyCar series champion Scott Dixon crossed the Long Beach finish line fourth behind Graham Rahal, but race officials ruled Rahal guilty of blocking on the final lap.
That pushed Dixon into third place and gave him his third podium finish at Long Beach.
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