NTT INDYCAR Series
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Fast Facts
Race weekend: Friday, April 12 – Sunday, April 14
Track: 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course (clockwise) in Long Beach, California
Race distance: 85 laps / 167.28 miles
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Rookie drivers are allowed one extra primary set for Practice 1.
Twitter: @GPLongBeach @IndyCar, #AGPLB, #IndyCar
Event website: www.gplb.com
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2018 race winner: Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda)
2018 NTT P1 Award winner: Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda), 1:06.5528, 106.454 mph
Qualifying lap record: Helio Castroneves, 1:06.2254, 106.980 mph, April 8, 2017
NBCSN telecasts: Qualifying, Saturday, April 13 (2:45 p.m. ET, live); Race, Sunday, April 14 (4 p.m. ET, live). Leigh Diffey will be the play-by-play announcer for NBCSN’s telecast of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Kelli Stavast and Robin Miller are the pit reporters.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Rob Howden and Ryan Myrehn reporting from the pits. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama race airs live on network affiliates, Sirius 113, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT IndyCar Series practices and qualifying are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app, with qualifying also airing on Sirius 218 and XM 209.
NBC Sports Gold livestreaming: All NTT IndyCar Series practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer livestreaming product that will put more INDYCAR programming content at viewers’ fingertips than ever before. In addition, full-broadcast, same-day replays of NTT IndyCar Series races, live streams of Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires races, edited cutdowns of NTT IndyCar Series and Indy Lights races and more will be available.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, April 12
10 – 10:45 a.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #1, NBC Sports Gold
2 – 2:45 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #2, NBC Sports Gold
Saturday, April 13
9 – 9:45 a.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #3, NBC Sports Gold
12:10 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifications), NBCSN (live, 11:45 a.m.)
Sunday, April 14
9 – 9:30 a.m. – NTT IndyCar Series warmup, NBC Sports Gold 1 p.m. – NBCSN on air
1:35 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines” command, Anthony Lynn, head coach, Los Angeles Chargers
1:42 p.m. – Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (85 laps/167.28 miles), NBCSN (live)
- The first three NTT IndyCar Series races of 2019 have been won by three different drivers – Josef Newgarden, Colton Herta and Takuma Sato – representing three different teams – Team Penske, Harding Steinbrenner Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The past 10 NTT IndyCar Series races have had eight different winners (James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Sato, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Newgarden and Herta).
- The top seven in the NTT IndyCar point standings – Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta, Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe – are represented by seven different teams – Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Andretti Autosport, Harding Steinbrenner Racing, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan and Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
- This weekend’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will mark the 36th Indy car event on the historic street circuit. Mario Andretti won the first Indy car race there in 1984. Alexander Rossi was the 2018 race winner. Sebastien Bourdais (2005-2007) was the last repeat winner at Long Beach.
- Al Unser Jr. has won the most times at Long Beach (six), while Sebastien Bourdais and Will Power are the only entered drivers with multiple wins. Bourdais won three straight races from 2005-2007. Power won in 2008 and 2012. Other former race winners scheduled to compete are Ryan Hunter-Reay (2010), Takuma Sato (2013), Scott Dixon (2015), Simon Pagenaud (2016), James Hinchcliffe (2017) and Alexander Rossi (2018).
- Competition reigns in qualifying for the NTT P1 Award, too, with 12 drivers earning a spot in a Firestone Fast Six qualifying round thus far in 2019: Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Felix Rosenqvist, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta, Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe, Sebastien Bourdais and Spencer Pigot. Only Dixon has earned a Firestone Fast Six spot in each of the first three races.
- Team Penske has won seven of the last 10 poles at Long Beach: Helio Castroneves, who set the lap record in 2017, won four poles (2001, 2015, 2016 and 2017), Will Power won three straight from 2009-2011 and Ryan Briscoe won in 2012. In addition to Power, other past pole winners entered in this year’s race are Tony Kanaan (1999), Sebastien Bourdais (2006-2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014) and Alexander Rossi (2018).
- Five drivers have won the race from the pole – Mario Andretti (1984, 1985 and 1987), Al Unser Jr. (1989-90), Helio Castroneves (2001), Sebastien Bourdais (2006-07) and Alexander Rossi (2018).
- Eighteen of the 23 drivers entered in the event have competed in Indy car races at Long Beach. Eleven entered drivers have led laps: Sebastien Bourdais 173, Will Power 168, Ryan Hunter-Reay 151, Scott Dixon 103, Alexander Rossi 71, Takuma Sato 66, Marco Andretti 64, Simon Pagenaud 54, Tony Kanaan 51, James Hinchcliffe 25 and Josef Newgarden 4.
- Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 303rd consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Kanaan will attempt to make his 362nd Indy car start, which ranks third on the all-time list.
- Scott Dixon has made 243 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 219 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.
- Scott Dixon, the longest-tenured driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, is third on the all-time Indy car victory list with 44 wins. Sebastien Bourdais is sixth on the all-time list with 37 wins and Will Power is tied with Bobby Unser for seventh on the all-time list with 35 wins.
- Two California natives are entered in the race. Defending race winner Alexander Rossi is a native of Nevada City, California, while leading rookie Colton Herta hails from Valencia, California.
- Five NTT IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year contenders – Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Colton Herta, Patricio O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist – are entered.
ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, 2019 NTT IndyCar Series points leader): “Needless to say, things didn’t go as planned at Barber. But coming from a 16th starting spot to finish fourth, the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet team and I felt like it was a win. We’re off to such a great start this season with nothing but top-five finishes so far, and we’re really hoping to continue that streak as we head into Long Beach. It’s just such a cool city and there’s so much history with this event. Street courses like Long Beach are really fun, but also really challenging due to the difference in track surface in comparison to a road course or oval. Plus, it’s awesome that our IMSA team competes there at the same weekend, so it’s cool to be able to root for those guys from the other side of the paddock.”
MATHEUS LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I’m excited to go to Long Beach. Personally, the street courses are the circuits that attract me the most and are the places where I feel most comfortable driving the car, so I’m happy to get back there. What I like about them is that they are intimidating and you have no room for mistakes. You have to be a hundred percent right and you have to be a hundred percent focused on what you’re doing, you can’t have any distractions. Last year, we had a solid race at Long Beach and I think we might have a great setup. Tony (Kanaan, Leist’s teammate) qualified in the top 12, so we’ll see if we can keep up the pace from last year and improve a little bit.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Long Beach is one of everyone’s favorite stops on the calendar. That place has been very good to us in the past, and we are hoping to keep our momentum from last week rolling and have a strong race. The fact that Acura has taken over title sponsorship is an added cool factor. We’d love to be the first to win the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.”
MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 7 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I’m really excited to go to Long Beach. We’re going there with a very positive feeling after a strong race at Barber. We finally got a good result in the Arrow car after the bad luck in the first two rounds, so we’re bringing that momentum with us. Obviously now the main target for us is to try and qualify higher up; that’s the key for an even better result on Sunday. That’s where we’ll focus our preparation and go out and try to execute it again this weekend. I’m excited and really happy we’re already heading to another race. Bring it on.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 2018 NTT IndyCar Series champion): “Long Beach has such an amazing history. It’s a truly iconic American event that started gaining a lot of popularity with Formula One back in the day. With the layout of the track, it’s truly one of the best street circuits anywhere around, and more importantly you actually get to race there. It took me forever to get to victory lane there in 2015, but we managed to accomplish that and I hope we can return to that form again this year in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I’m a big fan of street-course racing and I’d be lying if I told you that Long Beach wasn’t one of the races I was most looking forward to after stepping up to INDYCAR this year. I really enjoyed Toronto and St. Petersburg in Indy Lights, and then St. Petersburg in an Indy car this year in the first race of the year. I think our NTT DATA Honda is good on these types of circuits and I think the layout will be really fun to drive. I learned a lot the past two races in Austin and Birmingham, and we’re hoping we can apply those lessons to Long Beach this weekend.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The No. 12 Verizon Chevy team and myself have gone over our data from what was a frustrating day at Barber and have a great plan for us to get back on track at Long Beach. They’re preparing a really good car that I think will allow us to make a run for the podium. I’m a big fan of street courses in general, but that place is really special. It really is one of the legendary races on the schedule. We’ve had a lot of success there and we can’t wait to race this weekend.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I’m looking forward to Long Beach, it’s a great event. We had a pretty decent car there last year, so hopefully we can turn the situation around. We’ve been running in the top 12 pretty strong but we have to qualify better, so working on qualifying is going to be my priority for Long Beach and from then on we can go race.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 TOTAL Honda): “I am really excited to get going here. I truly think the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach should be one of our most competitive races of the year and, coming off the team’s performance from Barber, I feel like our team should be right in the hunt with the TOTAL Honda. We will always need to fine-tune and find more speed, but I am confident that after last year we should be pretty strong in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. I love Long Beach. It’s a demanding and really tricky circuit. For a street circuit, it’s long, has great high-speed areas but huge brake zones that you have to get through which are awesome passing opportunities. I expect a really competitive and tough fight as always, but it does produce some of the best racing around!”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “Long Beach is historically a track where I’ve had a lot of success. The atmosphere is fantastic. It’s just a great event. The No. 18 SealMaster Honda team is coming off a couple of good races. We’ve earned a lot of valuable championship points and are now sixth in the championship race. We just have to keep working hard, keep digging and see how far we can go. I am incredibly honored to be inducted into the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Walk of Fame. Joining such an illustrious group of drivers, owners and teams is very special. The fact that I am still an active Indy car driver, and along with Will (Power), will be the first active Indy car drivers to be inducted, is an accomplishment I’m extremely proud of.”
SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 19 David Yurman Honda): “I’m pretty excited about heading to Long Beach. Then again, I’m always excited going to a street course. I’m curious to see what we’ll have when we get there. We did some simulator work and it was really, really good for us. It’s helped us at other tracks, so hopefully it will be the same for Long Beach and we can get back into the top 10. Doing sim work is helpful, but I can’t wait to drive the actual track. From what I’ve seen of the circuit, it kind of reminds me of Detroit in a way. It’s a little bumpy and I like the hairpin a lot going onto the front straight. I’m excited for that and for the fountain turn, because I’m told it’s legendary.”
ED JONES (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet): “It’s been a tough first three races for the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, so it’s very exciting to be able to go back to a track where I’ve had some really good results the past few years. Long Beach should suit us well and I’m very hopeful to get some good momentum going into the month of May.”
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “Long Beach is one of the best weekends of the year. It’s great to see the enthusiasm of the fans that come out all weekend to see all the different series. We’ve studied where we can improve on street courses and are looking forward to showing that this weekend!”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): “This season is going to be a very interesting one! The No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet team has great potential that we haven’t fully unlocked yet. The race car is competitive and there is no better place for me than Long Beach. It’s my favorite track on the schedule and also a place where I’ve had a lot of success. We won there in 2016 – marking my first win for Team Penske, and I’m hungry for more. Let’s see what California brings us. It’s going to be a very exciting weekend with such a great crowd and amazing festivity. I can’t wait to go out there and give it 100 percent. I will also be watching my teammates in the Acura Team Penske DPi and I wish them good luck for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.”
ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “With the Barber weekend behind us, it means we’re moving on to one of my favorite races of the year, Long Beach. I was able to get my first career top-five here last year and only one spot off the podium. We’re definitely pushing to have an opportunity to better that result this year.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda, 2018 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach winner): “Words don’t really capture my excitement of getting back to Long Beach. It’s a flagship event on the calendar, my first home race of the year and a place with a lot of special memories for the NAPA racing team. This weekend will be all about putting all the pieces together, which should hopefully get us onto the podium for the first time this year.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “I’m really looking forward to racing in Long Beach again. It’s always been one of my favorite tracks and the DHL car has showed some good pace and picked up good results. The entire team has been strong there the past couple years, so we’re optimistic that we’ll leave with a good result.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda): “As it is a very competitive field in INDYCAR, it’s difficult to judge it race by race. But certainly we are more comfortable with our generic street-course setup and will develop the speed at the weekend, so we should be reasonably competitive and that’s the start line. It’s very nice to have the first pit box (earned by getting the pole position at Barber Motorsports Park), so you don’t have to wait for gapping yourself for practice and qualifying, and it’s a good benefit in the race, too, needless to say. And it looks good. I think it’s a great start of the season. We are definitely moving forward because of continuous work together since 2018. Both cars had some issues for each event, unfortunately, but that’s part of racing and hopefully we will be more reliable for the rest of the season. The No. 30 car won two races in the last five starts if you count the 2018 season, which is very encouraging. Motivation is definitely very high.” … (On being third in points): “I like it! This is because of an absolute team effort. I went into the month of May as the point leader in 2013 and know we can’t rely on past results. We need to keep developing and getting more strong finishes. The racing is very competitive so it’s very easy to drop once you lose momentum, so we will work even harder.”
PATRICIO O’WARD (No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet): “I’m very excited to get to Long Beach this weekend. It’s a new track for me and all I hear are good things about that event. As a spectator in the past, I’ve always thought it was just a really cool venue to have Indy cars racing at, so I’m super excited to finally get my chance out there on track to hopefully get a good result. We’ve shown a lot of pace the last two races, but we just haven’t been able to put everything together at the same time. I’m ready to get a good result for myself and Carlin because I know that’s what we deserve.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “I really enjoy coming to Long Beach and putting on a show downtown. It’s great to see how much the fans enjoy the race and that they keep coming back year after year. These back-to-back weekends are always a bit taxing on the teams and the drivers, but after just barely missing out on a good result in Barber last weekend through no fault of our own, I’m ready to get back in the car and get a good result for the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet.”
JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda): “Last year was pretty solid at Long Beach and we had great race pace. I think we had a top-five going into the yellow last year. We need to focus on strategy going into the weekend and have a good Friday practice, replicate our usual Saturday – that would be quite good – and then have a slightly better Sunday. Better Sundays for us are having a result inside the top 10. There’s a lot to be encouraged about heading to Long Beach.”
COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda): “I’ve always enjoyed coming to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race as a kid. And now it’s awesome that finally I get to have a true home race! The streets of Long Beach have always been a key venue for the NTT IndyCar Series because it draws such big crowds. I can’t be more excited to get going in my No. 88 King Taco Indy car with Harding Steinbrenner Racing and build up momentum again.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete/Curb Honda): “We need to rebound after last weekend’s race at Barber. Long Beach has a great setting for a podium finish and I love the track. Long Beach is my second favorite race of the year (only behind the Indy 500), and I always have a lot of friends and family that come to support me and the U.S. Concrete team there. It would be great to put on a great show for them and bring home a good result and valuable championship points.”