Alexander Rossi Wins Long Beach For Second Year In A Row
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Alexander Rossi won the Grand Prix of Long Beach last year. He decided to win it again this year, beating the rest of the field by a more than 20 seconds yesterday.
It's Rossi's first win of the year and makes him the first driver to win consecutive races at Long Beach since Sebastien Bourdais won three straight from 2005 to 2007. It's also Michael Andretti's 200th as a a team owner.
"That was the win we really need to jump start our championship," Rossi told the IndyCar Radio Network. "The crew did a great job. To win by that amount in this series is unheard of."
Team Penske's Josef Newgarden took second adding one point to his championship lead. He said he's satisfied but disappointed.
It's good to have seconds," Newgarden said. "This is a good day. We stayed inside the top three, which is positive. But, it's tough. It gets old after a while. You just want to win some races."
Graham Rahal ran out of push-to-pass late in the race and was third across the finish line, but lost the podium finish because IndyCar accused him of blocking Scott Dixon on the final lap.
''I am not, like, upset about it,'' Rahal said. ''Did I block? Yes. I blocked. You are allowed to make a move in this series. That's allowed. I played the rules as I see them fit.''
Rahal was bumped to fourth with Ryan Hunter-Reay round out the top five. Rookie driver Colton Herta has had a tough go since his win at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas nearly a month ago.
Engine trouble ended his race in Alabama last weekend and a crash ended his day early at Long Beach.
Drivers are now in full Indianapolis mode as the IndyCar Grad Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is next on the agenda. That's followed by the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.
(PHOTO: Greg Doherty/Getty Images)