A Fantastic Day In Long Beach For Andretti Autosport
The Andretti Autosport Verizon IndyCar Series team had a fantastic race at the 85 lap Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda secured the Verizon P1 Award on Saturday.
In the race on Sunday, Rossi led the way, completely dominating the race leading 71 laps of the 85 lap race. Speaking following the event, the 2016 Indy 500 winner who now leads the Verizon IndyCar Series points standings as the sport heads to Barber Motorsports Park this weekend commented by saying:
I think the Watkins Glen car was pretty close to the car we had today, but man this Andretti Autosport team and the NAPA Know How crew. It’s unbelievable to win at Long Beach. I can’t really put into words how good the car was all weekend. I think we proved that and I’m just so glad we were able to capitalize and nothing crazy happened. It’s been a great weekend all around — we announced Crown Royal and the Wall of Gratitude, and then we put the NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda in victory lane, getting the win that I think the Military To Motorsports car should have had last weekend in Phoenix. On top of it all, I got to win in my home state of California in front of all my family and friends. It’s a good feeling right now.
The Californian went on to say:
I can’t really put into words how good the car was all weekend. “I think we proved that and I’m just so glad we were able to capitalize and nothing crazy happened.
“This one I’ll definitely remember for a very long time for a lot of different reasons. This one, even though it’s not my true home race, it really feels like one. “The crowds here and just the whole atmosphere is so welcoming and inviting that it’s no surprise that this race has been on the calendar for so long. It’s a pleasure to be able to come here and race, first of all, and to be able to win here is pretty special.
Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Zach Veach in the No.26 Group One Thousand One Honda who is competing in his first full-time Verizon IndyCar Series season started Sunday’s race from 16th place on the grid and came through the field to finish the race in fourth place. Speaking following the race he commented by saying:
[Fourth] feels like a win, to be honest. The crew was pushing me pretty hard at the end to try to get on the podium but… after St. Pete, after Phoenix , we’ve just been chipping away on it and we took a big swing at it today. I’ve got to thank my Group One Thousand One guys, honestly. I kind of made a mishap in qualifying to put us 16th. Today we had great strategy, great stops. They got me to where I could capitalize on it so this is more for them than me.”
Marco Andretti in the No.98 US Concrete Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport was the standout performer of the race along with his team mate Alexander Rossi. Andretti came through the field from 20th place on the grid to finish the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in sixth place.
Speaking following the race, Andretti commented by saying:
We had to just be persistent today. Myself and the guys, we just stayed in it and didn’t make mistakes. This race just comes down to attrition sometimes. There are so many corners where you can get taken out if you go too deep – that’s what took me out of qualifying yesterday. I keep saying that as soon as we qualify in the top 10, we’re going to win a race. Congrats to Alex on his win and great job to all my U.S. Concrete guys.
In contrast to his team mate’s it was a disappointing day for Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda. The American who started the race from seventh place had a tough day at the office working his way through the field twice to finish the event in 20th place.
Speaking following the race, Hunter Reay said:
First off, congratulations to Alex – he was on rails all weekend. For us on the 28, it was a complete nightmare of a day. We had a damaged front wing on the start, came in for a wing change, went to the back and made our way up to fifth place. Then, I think Sato hit my right rear with his wing, we got a puncture and had to come in, and we went to the back. We came back through, again, to 11th and then Bourdais got spun around in the hairpin. I got stuck in that… and, again, to the back. On the last restart, I was just aggressive and put the power down. The back end stepped out and smacked the wall; we broke the left rear suspension. It was a weekend to forget. The potential was there for the DHL Honda and that makes it sting even more. Great job to my crew, they did everything they needed to. We’ll focus on Barber from here.