Rossi puts on clinic in Long Beach

LWe were all just living in Alexander Rossi’s world on Sunday, as he won on the streets of Long Beach for the second year in a row.

The Andretti Autosport driver dominated from pole position, from the drop of the green flag, as he led all but six laps to win the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

His 20.236 second margin of victory is the largest at Long Beach since Al Unser Jr. beat Scott Pruett by 23 in 1995.

Even at a track where he’s led nearly 150 laps over the last two years, he didn’t think he’d be this dominant.

“We knew it was going to be a really hard fought battle, but the NAPA Auto Parts crew gave me such a great car.

It’s his fifth career victory in 54 career starts in the NTT IndyCar Series. He’s the eighth driver to win in back-to-back years at Long Beach. It’s also the 200th victory for Andretti Autosport.

Points leader Josef Newgarden finished second, his 25th career podium finish.

Following a last-lap blocking penalty assessed to Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon overcame a pit road miscue to round out the podium.

Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five.

Rahal said the call was “not that tough to swallow,” as he was going to lose the position if he didn’t block, because his used red front tires were all used up.

“I had no braking grip whatsoever,” he said.

Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Takumo Sato, James Hinchcliffe and Felix Rosenqvist rounded out the top 10.

Who had a good afternoon

Despite the last-lap blocking penalty, Rahal earned a top five finish for the second time this season. It ties his best finish of the season.

Dixon rebounded from a pit road miscue on his final pit stop, when his team couldn’t get the fuel hose to connect, to salvage a podium finish.

Who had a bad afternoon

After a strong start to the season, including a win at Circuit of the Americas, Colton Herta retired from the race, after suffering damage to his front wing from snapping loose and hitting the wall in Turn 9.

He’s finished last in back-to-back races.

What else happened

The only caution of the race flew on the first lap for a three-car incident in Turn 2, that involved Spencer Pigot, Jack Harvey and Marcus Ericsson.

Nuts and bolts

There was one caution for four laps and five lead changes among three different drivers.

Newgarden leaves with a 28-point lead over Rossi, who overtakes Dixon for second in points.

IndyCar returns to action on May 11 in the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to kick off the Month of May that leads up to the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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