By: Spencer Neff
April 14, 2023
After an intense race at Texas Motor Speedway, the NTT INDYCAR returns from a week off to run the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The 48th event on the California streets and the 39th INDYCAR race on the now 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit, it has become one of the biggest events on the series’ calendar and one of America’s biggest street course events.
Heading into the third event of the 17-race calendar, both of the first two races of 2023 have seen plenty of action.
On April 2, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden held off Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward to repeat at Texas Motor Speedway, his third win at the track and first of 2023. Heading into Long Beach, the two-time INDYCAR Champion will look to repeat his 2022triumph. In last year’s race, he started second and led a race-high 32 laps, holding off Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean to win for the first time in Long Beach.
The victory put Roger Penske’s operation at the top of the all-time win list at Long Beach, breaking a tie with Newman-Haas and Chip Ganassi Racing. It was also the team’s first triumph in Long Beach since 2016 with Simon Pagenaud.
Following two runner-up finishes, O’Ward finds himself leading the points for the first time since 2021, when he was the championship leader with two races to go. O’Ward could tie a series record with a third consecutive runner-up finish on Sunday.
If he were to win the 85-lap race he would follow Pagenaud’s 2016 start of two runner-up finishes preceding a victory. Seven years ago, Pagenaud won Long Beach to begin a three-race win streak on his way to the championship.
Among the other notable storylines for this race are Chip Ganassi Racing’s four cars. The team has six victories at Long Beach but none since Scott Dixon won in 2015, the six-time champion’s only Long Beach victory.
CGR has won the last three street course race contested by the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, dating back to last year when Dixon won in Toronto and Nashville. This season, Marcus Ericsson continued the streak with a win at the opener in St. Petersburg.
A victory by one of their four drivers could be a good omen for the remainder of 2023. Each time a driver for the team has won at Long Beach, they went on to earn the season championship.
Rookie Marcus Armstrong will return to the team as part of his scheduled road and street course appearances in the no. 11.
Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Agustin Canapino heads the four-man rookie class in the standings to date. Following a pair of 12th-place efforts, the Argentine will look to continue an impressive start to his IndyCar career. The driver of the No. 78 sits 14 points ahead of Sting Ray Robb and Benjamin Pedersen. After Takuma Sato wheeled the entry at Texas, Armstrong is 17 back.
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Fast Facts
Race weekend: Friday, April 14 – Sunday, April 16
Track: 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course (clockwise) in Long Beach, California
Race distance: 85 laps / 167.28 miles
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Six sets primary, five sets alternate. Rookie drivers are allowed one extra primary set for Practice 1.
Twitter: @GPLongBeach, @INDYCAR, #AGPLB, #INDYCAR
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Facebook: @GrandPrixLB, @INDYCAR, #INDYCAR
TikTok: @grandprixlongbeach, @INDYCAR, #INDYCAR
Event website: http://www.gplb.com
INDYCAR website: http://www.indycar.com
2022 race winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet)
2022 NTT P1 Award: Colton Herta (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda), 1:05.3095, 108.480 mph
Qualifying lap record: Colton Herta, 1:05.3095, 108.480 mph, April 9, 2022
NBC Sports race telecast: 3 p.m. ET Sunday, April 16, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the play-byplay
announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts
Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe. Marty Snider, Dave Burns and Kevin Lee are the pit reporters.
Peacock Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions, qualifying and races will stream live on Peacock, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst
Davey Hamilton and turn announcers Nick Yeoman, Jake Query and Michael Young. Ryan
Myrehn, Alex Wollf and Georgia Henneberry are the pit reporters. The Acura Grand Prix of Long
Beach race and all NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying sessions air live on network
affiliates, SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation 160 and SiriusXM NBC Sports Audio 85 (Race only), racecontrol.indycar.com and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, April 14
3-4:15 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 1 (75-minute session), Peacock (live)
Saturday, April 15
8:45-9:45 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 2 (45-minute session), Peacock (live)
12:05 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout
qualifying), Peacock (live)
Sunday, April 16
9-9:30 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock (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 (live)
Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR