Fantasy IndyCar Preview: Long Beach

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Josef Newgarden

The champ was back on top step at Phoenix after a thrilling end to the desert shootout. However, Mr. Newgarden and the rest of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers didn’t have much time to rest as they take to the famed streets of Long Beach, California this weekend for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Congrats to Bruce D. on his Fantasy win last weekend!

Let’s see who has what it takes to claim the bragging rights for this weekend’s action.

Strong Choices

Alexander Rossi
It’s hard to bet against consistency, and Rossi has dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” so far this season. He has been on the podium both races, and has asserted himself as a strong championship contender early on. A California native, you can bet he’ll be hungry for another strong result, if not a win, at Long Beach.

Robert Wickens
I said Robert Wickens was a risk to choose last weekend. Wow. Was I wrong. Wickens has proven that his stellar St. Pete weekend wasn’t a fluke, and that he is invested in this championship, ready to fight for race wins and ultimately a championship. Could the rookie get his first win at Long Beach? Crazier things have happened, that’s for sure.

Will Power
He’s always strong on road/street courses and has you can be sure he wants to be the second Penske to bring home a win for The Captain after JoNew won last weekend. Should he stay out of trouble, Power is always a threat.

Josef Newgarden
There’s nothing stronger than positive momentum. Josef was in championship form during last weekend’s Phoenix race, and heading to a track where he’s been oh so close to winning at in an IndyCar, it’s safe to say confidence will be high and lap times will be quick. Look for the champ to make a strong push for victory on Sunday.

Maybes

Jordan King
The rookie turned some heads, mine included, with his performance during St. Pete Grand Prix weekend. His race results didn’t show how fast he really was (contact) and I have no reason to believe he won’t be quick in California. He may be a good bet at a low value.

James Hinchcliffe
Hinch is trying to go back-to-back at Long Beach, and will do so after a strong showing at Phoenix. Team Canada is showing to be a great look for SPM, with Hinch and Wickens working well together and gathering solid results. Will the Mayor find himself victorious again on the famed streets? I’m sure there’s at least a few people who are willing to take a chance and say “Yes.”

Scott Dixon
Luck has never been on Dixon’s side at Long Beach, excluding his win in 2015. Both Ganassi cars haven’t achieved the results I’m sure team owner Chip Ganassi would have liked to see after the first two races, but we have to remember it’s only the third race of the season. Look for Dixon to ignite a spark to his season with a strong run this weekend.

Pass

Kyle Kaiser
Juncos Racing will be back this weekend with Kyle Kaiser behind the wheel. They will certainly be looking for a better result than achieved in the first two races, and the California native Kaiser will certainly want to do well on home turf. Lack of experience and seat time advises me to steer clear of Kaiser for this weekend.

Matheus Leist
After showing so much speed in practice and qualifying at St. Pete, Leist has struggled, crashing out at St. Pete and then finishing nine laps down at Phoenix. Super Tex and the Foyt gang will want some better results, and Leist is capable, but I’m looking for him to finish a few races on the lead lap before I put him in my lineup.

My picks for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach:

  • Scott Dixon
  • Alexander Rossi
  • Jordan King
  • Robert Wickens

Good luck, and as always, may the best fan win!

Images courtesy of INDYCAR Media.  Join Open-Wheels on IndyCar’s official fantasy site by visiting fantasy.indycar.com and then searching “Open-Wheels” for the league.

Emerson Lehmann

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