IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix Predictions

It’s that time for the last race before the Month of May. Long Beach has proven to be an exciting race year in and year out with Alexander Rossi taking the win last year. This season, we have seen the excitement and parity that IndyCar typically provides with 3 different race winners in the first 3 races. Josef Newgarden took St. Pete, rookie Colton Herta became the youngest race winner in IndyCar history at COTA, and Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato took HIGPA, so it’s anyone’s guess as to who will conquer Long Beach this season.

So far, Josef Newgarden has looked like the strongest driver as he’s finished 1st, 2nd, and 4th in Birmingham after qualifying 16th. He will look to keep and extend his championship lead when the checkered flag waves late Sunday afternoon, but who else will be successful this weekend?

PENSKE
Obviously, I expect Josef Newgarden to be strong this weekend, along with Will Power, but Simon Pagenaud has been a bit of a disappointment the last two years and if there’s one thing that Roger Penske’s team is, it’s consistent. I don’t expect much to change for this one either.
Josef Newgarden – Top 3 Finish
Will Power – Top 7 Finish
Simon Pagenaud – Top 15 Finish

ANDRETTI
Alexander Rossi has been pretty good this year so far, compared to his championship run last season, but he’ll be looking to get his first win this weekend. One of the most exciting drivers on the track, expect Rossi to take risks, be aggressive, and drive his car to the limit this weekend no matter where he qualifies. Marco Andretti has also had a pretty good year, but I don’t expect him to be anything more than middle of the pack again this weekend, though the famous veteran could surprise us this weekend. The never satisfied Ryan Hunter-Reay will be looking to have a very strong performance this weekend. He’s been good, not great this year, but has been strong in practice and will look to race hard this weekend and have Andretti looking good towards the end of Sunday. If he performs the way he’s performed thus far this season, you may as well bet on Zach Veach finishing around 18th. Veach has been driving like he knows Colton Herta is breathing down his neck for that fourth seat on the main team and nothing last weekend showed me that he can block it out and turn it on.

Alexander Rossi – Top 5
Ryan Hunter-Reay – Top 7
Marco Andretti – Top 12
Zach Veach – Top 22

GANASSI
Scott Dixon is as much as a sure thing week in and week out as anyone in the series. There isn’t much to say there, even if he has a mediocre qualifying, Dixon’s experience and expertise as saving fuel always has him finishing towards the front. Felix Rosenqvist has had an up and down start to his rookie campaign, but he is on one of the best teams and though he is a rookie, he has a lot of experience racing in Europe, this street cource could spell a good finish for Felix.
Scott Dixon – Top 3
Felix Rosenqvist – Top 12

ED CARPENTER RACING
Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones have had a rough start to the year. Pigot faced unlucky qualifying efforts in St. Pete & COTA along with a questionable race strategy at HIGPA. Pigot was one of the fastest pre-race drivers all weekend, but the two stop strategy that the team implored saw to be a risky move that had him finish 17th. Ed Jones has yet to find the speed this year, but he’s shown when he does have a good car, he can perform. The ECR boys are looking for good results, but they may have to race hard for them as their cars weren’t great during practice.
Spencer Pigot – Top 10
Ed Jones – Top 20

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN
Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are probably the most aggressive combo when it comes to teammates on the grid. Neither driver is afraid of really pushing their cars to the limit and when they hit it right, they are very successful, when they can’t, they usually find themselves with a less than stellar result. That was the case at HIGPA. They started 1 & 2, but late in the race Graham was unable to hold onto his car as the rear dropped out from him and he wrecked, Sato on the other hand, had his race in hand the whole time and came away with the win. These two are the most unpredictable when it comes to result, but no matter what, they’ll put on a show.

Graham Rahal – Top 8
Takuma Sato – Top 12

SCHMIDT PETERSON MOTORSPORTS
James Hinchcliffe will have his buddy and former teammate Robert Wickens in the stands cheering him on this weekend and as a race fan, couldn’t be happier to see Robbie back at the track after his awful accident last year. Marcus Ericsson, the former Formula 1 driver, will look to have his best result of the year at one of the best street courses on the grid. Jack Harvey has been racing hard, but will need a good qualifying effort to have a strong result. The emotional story could see SPM come away with a win this weekend, and you could hope that it comes from the Mayor of Hinchtown.

James Hinchcliffe – Top 7
Marcus Ericsson – Top 9
Jack Harvey – Top 18

DAYLE COYNE
Sebastien Bourdais is no stranger to the winning circle, and unkile Spencer Pigot, his team was able to pull of a successful 2 stop strategy at Barber, finishing with a 2nd place finish. Santino Ferrucci has had a pretty standard rookie campaign thus far and not much should change for him this weekend. The thing to look out for is that Sebastien is also racing in the IMSA race this weekend, which could fatigue him for at least one of those competitions.

Sebastien Bourdais – Top 6
Santino Ferrucci – Top 18

AJ FOYT
The legend Tony Kanaan and his Brazillian co-pilot Mattheus Leist may be one of the more fan friendly duo’s, but the AJ Foyt team hasn’t been able to muster up many solid finishes lately. I don’t really expect that to change much this weekend either.
Tony Kanaan – Top 14
Mattheus Leist – Top 22

CARLIN
Patricio O’Ward and Max Chilton hope to bring some success to Carlin this year. O’Ward has been dynamic this year so far showing he is the stronger driver of the two. Chilton will hope to turn his fortune around but that may not happen this weekend.
Patricio O’Ward – Top 10
Max Chilton – Top 22

HARDING STEINBRENNER
Colton Herta is the only 1 man team competing this weekend and has been as good as advertised so far this season. With a win under his belt, followed by a dissappointing finish at HIGPA, Herta has been fast in practice and will look to have a result similar to Austin than Birmingham.
Colton Herta – Top 7



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