The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach proved to be a dramatic event for championship leader Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.

Starting the 85 lap race from third place he had a great start to the event and was running well up front.

The Tennessee native led a total of 19 laps and was catching race leader Scott Dixon who was on a alternative strategy conserving fuel.

In the closing stages of the race, Newgarden was hit from behind by Andretti Global’s Colton Herta resulting in Newgarden going into anti stall allowing Scott Dixon to break away from him and Herta.

The resulting contact saw Newgarden drop to fourth in the race behind Dixon, Herta and defending series champion Alex Palou who rounded out the podium.

Speaking following the race, a clearly upset Newgarden said:

“It seemed pretty obvious to me, he just misjudged it, ran into me. Once I got lifted and went into anti-stall. I got lifted off the ground a foot or two, and I had to wait for the clutch to disengage so you can get the thing reset. I’m not going to say we were going to get (Scott) Dixon. It was actually very difficult for me to get the run I need to. I think traffic was going to provide me an opportunity to make a run right there with a fast Hitachi Chevy. I was really excited about that because that might have been my last chance. You never know if I could have pulled it off. Maybe not. He was really quick. I don’t know how they were going as far as they were.”

Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Business Chevrolet who started the race on the front row came home in sixth place and speaking following the action he said:

“We had an incredibly fast Verizon Chevy. Had a choice to take the yellow and take tires and have massive fuel save and go hard, but we made the most of what we had there. We didn’t have any green tires to run in those fuel save stints, so we didn’t have any defense against (Scott) Dixon. Otherwise, it would have been fine to do exactly what he did. Disappointing with how far we started up, but still a top-six. All you can do is maximize each day and move on to the next one.”

Scott McLaughlin in the No.3 Odyssey Battery Chevrolet started the race from 11th and opted to follow the same strategy as race winner Scott Dixon who started the race from eighth.

McLaughlin made solid progress through the field and was on target to score a top ten finish but on Lap 70 of 85 disaster struck as the New Zealander suffered a gearbox failure and was forced to retire from the race and was classified in 26th.

Obviously very disappointing to DNF with an Odyssey Battery Chevy that was so fast. I got us off on the wrong foot by missing a key corner in qualifying, losing a couple of tenths of a second. We were much better than an 11th-place car in qualifying. Then you look at the race and we were on the same strategy as (Scott) Dixon and looked to be in a good spot for a solid day. The gearbox issue that ended our day was just the final straw. Again, disappointing to say the least but we head to Barber next looking for a second win there.”

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