Rossi gets win at Long Beach
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Alexander Rossi spent his early racing career in Europe, and his extended family back home in California hardly ever saw him in person.
With a chance to race an exceptionally fast Honda on the Long Beach streets in front of about 60 friends and relatives Sunday, Rossi showed everybody what they might have missed. He also demonstrated what his Honda looks capable of doing in the rest of this very promising IndyCar season.
Rossi pulled away after a late restart to win the Grand Prix of Long Beach, completing a dominant weekend by holding off Will Power for his third career victory.
Rossi claimed his first win of the season from the pole, thriving amid the usual excitement on this beloved downtown road course just off the Pacific Ocean. Rossi led 71 of 85 laps in his Andretti Autosport Honda before taking charge on the restart with nine laps to go, pulling away from Power and moving into the IndyCar points lead after three races.
“Even though it’s not my true home race, it really feels like one,” said Rossi, who grew up around Sacramento. “The crowds here, and just the whole atmosphere is so welcoming and inviting. 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. This is one I’ll definitely remember for a very long time for a lot of different reasons.”
Rossi doesn’t have many victories yet, but they’re all monsters: The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner and veteran of five Formula One races also won at Watkins Glen late last year.
“I certainly hope I haven’t peaked too early with those three,” Rossi said.