Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi who drives the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda is hoping to build on his strong start to the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series at this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner heads into the race in second place in the championship standings following two podium finishes in the opening two races of the year.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race, the Californian commented by saying:
“It’s the second race weekend in five days and this time it is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar. It is hard to beat the atmosphere and energy of Long Beach. With it being a Southern-California race, it is sort-of a home race for me, so I will have lots of friends and family down for the weekend. We will be looking to finish what we started last year and hopefully we can put the NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda on the top step.”
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda goes into this weekend’s race also aiming to build on a solid foundation from Phoenix where the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion finished the race in fifth place.
Speaking ahead of the event this weekend on the streets of Long Beach, Hunter Reay said:
Long Beach is one of my favorite races of the year. It’s one of the cornerstone events for the Series with a great fan base and great racing. We have a win there from 2010, started on pole in 2014 but still feel like we have unfinished business after last year with the car shutting off on us while running up front. We have some work to do. We have two top-five finishes so far this year, but we’re not satisfied with that – which is a good thing.
Zach Veach in the No.26 Group One Thousand One Honda will compete at Long Beach in an IndyCar for the first time. The American Verizon IndyCar Series rookie is looking forward to the race, he said:
I’m looking forward to Long Beach because it’s one of my favorite tracks. It’s where I got my first street course pole in an Indy Lights car, and almost won there – so we’ve always had some natural speed there and I’m hoping that helps me speed up the process of learning in an Indy car. Once you get to IndyCar, track time is so limited so that’s the beauty of having a background in Road to Indy, you get experience at these tracks and you know what you’re getting yourself into. I was lucky enough to have the team put me into the simulator to run Long Beach, so I’ve kind of been there in an Indy car. I’ve got three really strong teammates, and just like every weekend, I’m learning from them every session. We have two 16th-place finishes now, so I’m hoping for a top 10 in Long Beach.
Marco Andretti in the No.98 US Concrete Bryan Herta Autosport Honda will be hoping that he can have a strong race weekend and possibly challenge for the win here were he took victory in 2010.
Speaking ahead of the race he commented by saying:
We’ve had a decent start to the season, but our pace is much better than our first two results have shown. We need to climb into the top five in points with a podium or a win in Long Beach – we’re not happy with sitting 10th in the championship. Long Beach is my favorite street course, so it is the best setting to put the U.S. Concrete car in contention. The fans are great in Long Beach and they deserve a good show – I know this 98 team can give it to them.”