Grand Prix of Long Beach Race Preview

Grand Prix of Long Beach“The Long Beach Grand Prix is certainly one of the cornerstone events of the Verizon IndyCar Series. This race has so much history. It really is the Indy 500 of street courses. This event has also had a huge impact on my life, both personally and professionally over the years. We’ll be looking for Long Beach win No. 2 for the DHL team this weekend.”

Fast Facts

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, four sets alternate

Twitter: @ToyotaGPLB @IndyCar, #TGPLB, #IndyCar

Event website:

INDYCAR website:

2016 race winner: Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet)

2016 Verizon P1 Award winner: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet), 1:07.1246, 105.547 mph

Qualifying lap record: Helio Castroneves, 1:06.6294, 106.331 mph, April 18, 2015

NBCSN race broadcast: Sunday, April 9 (4 p.m. ET)

NBCSN qualifying broadcast: Saturday, April 8 (7:30 p.m. ET, taped)

NBCSN practice broadcast: Friday, April 7 (5 p.m. ET, live)

Rick Allen will be the play-by-play announcer for NBCSN’s broadcast of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller are the pit reporters.

Radio broadcasts: The Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network is led by chief announcer Mark Jaynes, with analyst Davey Hamilton. Turn reporters are Jake Query and Nick Yeoman, with Rob Howden and Michael Young reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209,, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video Streaming: All practice sessions not televised by NBCSN will be available and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (

INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon’s INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features of the app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, April 7
10 – 10:45 a.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, streaming on (Live)
2 – 2:45 p.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, NBCSN (Live)

Saturday, April 8
10:45 – 11:30 a.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, streaming on (live)
3:30 p.m.: Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of Verizon IndyCar Series qualifications); NBCSN (live)

Sunday, April 9
9 – 9:30 a.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up, streaming on (Live)
1 p.m.: NBCSN on air
1:23 p.m.: “Drivers, start your engines” command
1:30 p.m.: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (85 laps/167.28 miles), streaming on (live); NBCSN (Taped at 4:30 p.m.)

Race Notes:

  • Sebastien Bourdais and Dale Coyne Racing came from last to first to claim the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series opener at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 12. Bourdais, a three-time winner at Long Beach, aims for back-to-back wins in pursuit of a fifth Indy car title.
  • This weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will mark the 34th Indy car event on the historic street circuit. Mario Andretti won the first Indy car race there in 1984. Simon Pagenaud was the 2016 race winner, claiming his first win as a member of Team Penske. Bourdais (2005-2007) was the last repeat winner at Long Beach.
  • Al Unser Jr. has won the most times at Long Beach (six), while Bourdais and Will Power are the only entered drivers with multiple wins. Bourdais won three straight races from 2005-2007. Power won in 2008 and 2012. Other former race winners scheduled to compete are: Helio Castroneves (2001), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2010), Takuma Sato (2013), Scott Dixon (2015) and Pagenaud (2016).
  • Team Penske drivers have won six of the last eight poles at Long Beach: Castroneves, who set the lap record in 2015, is a three-time pole winner (2001, 2015 and 2016), Power won three straight from 2009-2011 and Ryan Briscoe won in 2012. In addition to Castroneves and Power, other past pole winners entered in this year’s race are: Tony Kanaan (1999), Bourdais (2006-2007) and Hunter-Reay (2014).
  • Four drivers have won the race from the pole – Andretti (1984, 1985 and 1987), Unser Jr. (1989-90), Castroneves (2001) and Bourdais (2006-07).
  • Nineteen of the 21 drivers entered in the event have competed in Indy car races at Long Beach. Eleven of those drivers have led laps: Castroneves 179, Bourdais 169, Power 162, Hunter-Reay 122, Dixon 71, Sato 66, Marco Andretti 64, Pagenaud 54, Kanaan 51, Charlie Kimball 3 and Josef Newgarden 1.
  • Kanaan seeks to start his 267th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon has made 208 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.
  • Dixon, the longest-tenured driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, is fourth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 40 wins. Bourdais is sixth on the all-time list with 36 wins.
  • Castroneves will attempt to make his 329th career Indy car start, which ranks fourth on the all-time list. Kanaan will attempt to make his 328th Indy car start, which is fifth all-time. Both are competing in their 20th season of Indy car racing in 2017.
  • 2016 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion Ed Jones in the only rookie driver slated to compete at Long Beach. Jones, one of six Indy Lights champions entered, won at Long Beach in 2015 as an Indy Lights rookie.
  • Since 2012, the Verizon IndyCar Series has averaged 8.75 different race winners per season, including a record-tying 11 winners in 2014. There were eight different winners in the 16 races of 2016 with an equally tight competition projected for the 2017 season.
  • Drivers may engage their “push-to-pass” for a total of 200 seconds during the race, with a maximum duration of 20 seconds for any one activation. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial race start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower for 2017.
  • The No. 9 GE LED Lighting Honda crew of Scott Dixon won the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award during the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing crew will receive its $10,000 award during pre-race festivities at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
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