By: Justin Reschke
April 12, 2019 | 3:00 PM
The second practice session from a crowded Friday at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach went green at 2:00 PM local time. The first session earlier in the day saw Ryan Hunter-Reay lead the way followed very closely by Scott Dixon. Practice 2 would see the two switch places as Scott Dixon led the way for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Dixon set a time of 1:07.794 followed by Hunter-Reay’s time of 1:07.843. Rookie Felix Rosenqvist posted a time of 1:07.887 to finish the session in third. Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden posted the best time for a Chevrolet powered car as he lapped the circuit in 1:07.965. Rounding out the top 5 was the Chevy-powered number 31 machine of rookie Patricio O’Ward with a lap time of 1:08.030.
Other notables included last year’s Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi posting a time of 1:08.081 in his Honda-powered Andretti machine which put him sixth. Graham Rahal remained in the top 10 after finishing fourth in the morning session with a time of 1:08.129, good enough for seventh.
Max Chilton saw a huge improvement making the leap from 22nd in Practice 1 up to P11 in the afternoon with a time of 1:08.395. Rookie Colton Herta driving for Harding Steinbrenner posted a time of 1:08.411. American rookie Santino Ferrucci finished last of the rookie crop posting a 1:08.833 putting him in 20th place.
All runners posted their fast laps on the softer red side-walled Firestone tires, save for Marco Andretti who stuck with the harder black side-walled rubber. The session was briefly red flagged when the number 4 car of Matheus Leist stalled on track at the end of the back straight. Leist finished the session last in 23rd after encountering the issue.
Given the results of the two practice sessions so far, qualifying could see Hunter-Reay and Dixon go toe to toe for pole position. As always, pole position is extremely important around the narrow streets of Long Beach where passing is difficult.
Practice 3 goes green tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM Pacific time. Coverage will be provided via the NBC Sports Gold app. Qualifying kicks off on track at 12:10 PM with coverage beginning on NBCSN at 11:45 AM. Stay tuned to Open-Wheels.com throughout the weekend for continuing coverage.
Photo credit IndyCar Media.