Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda claimed his fifth career NTT IndyCar Series pole positi9n and his second in succession at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday
The Californian set a pole time of 01:06.4811s and speaking following the action he said:
We knew we had the lap in there, it was about doing it on that one lap. I was happy we decided to run two sets of (Firestone) Reds. We hadn’t done that in the past, but it made the difference today. The used red tires are different than the new ones. So it’s about knowing how much you can attack and get away with. It bit us at COTA, only doing one lap, so we learned our lesson and it paid dividends today. We try not to make the same mistake twice. It would be nice to repeat history tomorrow. I like this place, and obviously I’m from California. It would be great to win a home race this year. This pole was exponentially harder to win than last years – the field is just that much tighter with everyone understanding these cars. The drivers are continuing to get better, so this one was more special.”
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda was left disappointed after just missing out on a place in Firestone Fast Six and will start the race from seventh as a result.
Speaking following the session he said:
Obviously disappointing to not make into the Fast Six. We had a unique situation with the tire opportunity in qualifying. We ended up using used Reds to try and move into the Fast Six and it just didn’t seem like we had the performance on them while the others were on new. It was definitely a bit of a fumble considering the speed we’ve had. We’ll have some cars to pass tomorrow to get to the front, but we’ve had good pace this weekend and still have our sights set on a podium finish or the DHL team.”
Marco Andretti in the No.98 US Concrete Honda starts the race from 11th place with a time of 01:08.3746s and speaking following the day’s action he said:
I wish I was a second or two more up the road when the Red Flag came out, and then my last lap would have counted. I think my race car is really, really good – we almost used Q2 as a test session there. I think if we would have played it conservative, we could have had a shot at the Fast Six. We have pace, and I think our race car is even better so I’m excited. We just have to go for it and pass cars. We’ve been able to pass cars starting 20th or 17th – now that we are starting inside the top 10, I think we can make something of it.
Zach Veach in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda starts the race from 22nd place and speaking following the day’s action he said he said:
“Honestly, I’m just confused. Nothing talked to me out there – those laps especially on the (Firestone alternate) Reds. I don’t really know what’s going on. We shouldn’t be starting where we are and that’s a question mark for us. For whatever reason, we just didn’t have it today so I’m just trying to figure that out and wrap my head around it. All through practice we had good pace, but then as soon as we put the Reds on – as with yesterday – the car just goes away from us. We’ll have a lot of work to do starting P22 tomorrow, but we’ll work hard to fight our way up.”