INDY 2021
Round 16

Front Row Start for Dixon, Honda at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

us Streets of Long Beach
Front Row Start for Dixon, Honda at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

・Outgoing series champion Scott Dixon qualifies second for INDYCAR season-ending Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
・Championship leader Alex Palou qualifies 10th, Honda driver seeking his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES title
・Honda clinched 10th Manufacturers' Championship – and fourth consecutive title – last

Scott Dixon led the Honda field in today's qualifying action at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, in preparation for Sunday's NTT INDYCAR SERIES finale.  The outgoing series champion advanced through all three rounds of Indy car "knockout" qualifying and will start tomorrow's 85-lap race from the outside of the front row, second, in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

After winning the Indianapolis 500 earlier this year in his debut with Meyer Shank Racing, Helio Castroneves will start third in his MSR Honda, with series Rookie of the Year contender Romain Grosjean rounding out the "Firestone Fast Six" in his Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda.

Dixon's teammate, championship leader Alex Palou, can clinch his first Indy car drivers' title with a finish of 11th or better tomorrow, and will line up 10th at the start.  Other Honda top-10 qualifiers included James Hinchcliffe, leading the Andretti Autosports group in seventh; and Ed Jones, who will start ninth in his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda.

Fast Facts

  • Honda-powered drivers and teams have won the Grand Prix of Long Beach 14 times in 20 appearances. This includes victories in seven of the last 11 races; and a seven-year victory streak in Championship Auto Racing Teams competition from 1996-2002.

  • Honda-powered winners at Long Beach include Jimmy Vasser (1996), Alex Zanardi (1997-98), Juan Pablo Montoya (1999), Paul Tracy (2000), Helio Castroneves (2001), Michael Andretti (his final Indy car victory, in 2002), Dario Franchitti (2009), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2010), Mike Conway (2011), Takuma Sato (2013), James Hinchcliffe (2017) and Alexander Rossi (2018-19).

  • Honda clinched its fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship – and 10th overall – last weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.  Honda teams and drivers have won nine of 15 races to date this season.

Where to Watch Sunday's Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Live network television coverage Sunday's 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES finale starts at 3 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.  Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on NBC Peacock, the INDYCAR Radio Network, and on SiriusXM satellite radio.

Alex Palou
Alex Palou 10
Chip Ganassi Racing
It was not the best of the [qualifying] sessions for us, but the good thing is that we had the pace, and it's good to see Scott [Dixon, teammate and second-fastest qualifier] up there. We'll see what we can do tomorrow from the top 10. We know we have a good race car. We'll try and overtake some guys tomorrow, and just focus on ourselves. If we do a good job tomorrow, we win the championship. We can't focus on what the other cars are doing.

Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon 9
Chip Ganassi Racing
We had some traffic on the last lap that I think cost us some time.  We were definitely 'up' [on the lap segment times] until we caught that car and I think it cost us three to five-tenths [of a second lap time].  But the car is fantastic, it really came alive for us in qualifying.  But goal number one is to do everything we can to help [teammate] Alex [Palou] take home the championship.

Hélio Castroneves
Hélio Castroneves 06
Meyer Shank Racing
Today was an incredible day.  I have to thank the whole AutoNation/SiriusXM team and Honda. We keep improving with every race. I made a little mistake in the hairpin [Turn 11] on my best lap, and that might have cost me pole.  But we can look forward to a great race tomorrow.

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