Sunday, April 15, 2018

Rossi Takes His Andretti Autosport Honda and "Clears the Field" in Long Beach Qualifying Round

Honda reports that race car driver Alexander Rossi took his Andretti Autosport Honda to the pole yesterday in qualifying for today's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, emerging as the leader in both the opening and final rounds of "knockout" IndyCar Series qualifying.

Rossi logged a time of 1 minute, 06.5528 seconds in the third and last round, 0.3526 seconds quicker than nearest rival Will Power, exceeding the gap that covered the entire remaining Fast Six final qualifiers.

Scott Dixon, the 2015 Long Beach winner, and Graham Rahal also advanced to final round qualifying for Honda. Another four Honda drivers advanced as far as the second qualifying round, including Ryan Hunter-Reay, defending race winner James Hinchcliffe, impressive rookie Robert Wickens and St. Petersburg race winner Sebasties Bourdais.

In all, seven Honda drivers will start from the top-10 grid positions in Sunday's third round of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series.  The 85-lap race starts at 4 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) pole qualifier, first pole of 2018 and second career IndyCar Series pole: "The whole Andretti Autosport NAPA team has done such a great job, and Honda has continued their development and their push in the off-season, so it's a huge result for us, and I think that we've been – we were close in St. Pete, had we not had the penalty on the qualifying. So, to get the pole here was good, a good start for tomorrow.  But this sport has a way of humbling you pretty quick, so we have to execute against tomorrow, and hopefully we can get that redemption we're talking about."

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