By: Spencer Neff
April 8, 2022
Meyer Shank Racing and Simon Pagenaud kicked off the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach by posting the fastest time. The 2016 winning driver of the race notched a best lap of 1m07.1991 (105.430 mph) on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit.
Alexander Rossi made it a 1-2 finish for Honda engines and the Andretti Autosport technical alliance with MSR. The 2018 and 2019 Long Beach pole and race winner finished the afternoon .4021 of a second off Pagenaud’s best time. Points leader Scott McLaughlin led the way for the Chevrolet-powered entries in third.
A.J. Foyt Racing’s Kyle Kirkwood continued an impressive start to his rookie campaign, finishing 10th of 26 cars.
The 60-minute session was delayed following an extended cleanup for the preceding IMSA practice.
Less than two-thirds of the way into the session, the red flag was brought out as two Chip Ganassi Racing cars experienced separate issues. 2015 Long Beach winner Scott Dixon stalled in Turn 9 after locking up his brakes on corner entry.
In Turn 5, Jimmie Johnson locked up his brakes and made front-end contact with the nose of his Dallara-Honda. Johnson was not at the full field autograph session and his status was not updated as of this writing.
Moments later, Turn 5 proved to be a trouble spot again. This time, A.J. Foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett made a half-spun close to the exact spot of Johnson’s accident. While the AMR Safety Team worked to get Kellett out of trouble, the red flag was displayed again. After a brief stoppage, practice continued unabated before the checkered flag.
Earlier in the day, Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport’s Devlin DeFrancesco was assessed a six-place grid penalty after the March 20 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Following an on-track accident that collected Graham Rahal and Helio Castroneves, the rookie was penalized for avoidable contact under INDYCAR Rule 9.3.3.
The rule states “The primary responsibility for avoiding contact with a Competitor resides with the overtaking Competitor and the secondary responsibility resides with the Competitor(s) being overtaken. A Competitor who fails to demonstrate their responsibility and initiates a maneuver that results in contact with another Competitor may be penalized.”
Here is the remaining on-track schedule for this weekend. All times listed are local track times (Pacific). Continue with IndyCar1909 and all our platforms for the latest on the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Saturday, April 9
8:45-9:45 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 2 (45-minute session), Peacock Premium (live)
12:05 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium (live)
Sunday, April 10
9-9:30 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock Premium (live) Noon – Driver introductions
Noon – NBC on air
12:38 p.m. – Start engines command
12:45 p.m. – Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (85 laps/167.28 miles), NBC and Peacock Premium (live)
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