By Dylan Reynolds, OpenWheel.com
The 2022 INDYCAR season continues today with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on the Streets of Long Beach, California. OpenWheel.com will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Photo by Riley Bridges/OpenWheel.com
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Preview: Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach – Sunday, April 10, 2022 3:00PM (ET) NBC – The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES is back this weekend for one of its premier events on the beautiful seaside streets of Long Beach. An exciting start to the year has shown an improved Team Penske with Scott McLaughlin nearly sweeping the first two races before he was beaten by teammate Josef Newgarden in a photo finish at Texas. McLaughlin leads the championship race by 28 points over his other Penske teammate Will Power.
Previous driver experience at Long Beach shows seven former winners in the field in Power (2), Alexander Rossi (2), Helio Castroneves (1), Scott Dixon (1), Colton Herta (1), Simon Pagenaud (1), and Takuma Sato (1). Herta and Rossi are the last two winners at the circuit. Looking at the box scores from 2021 and 2019, Rossi, Newgarden, and Dixon each finished in the Top 5 of the last two Long Beach races. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, those three are joined by Pagenaud, Sato, and Power. The active Top 5 in laps led at the circuit are Castroneves (194), Power (170), Rossi (151), Dixon (104), and Sato (67).
My pick to win: Scott Dixon – It feels like Scott Dixon time. He qualified on the front row here last year and the Ganassi cars have shown plenty of speed again so far this season. It’ll be tough to beat out an improved Team Penske and what Andretti Autosport has figured out at Long Beach, but Dixon is the pick for me this weekend.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Scott Dixon $29, Romain Grosjean $26, Alexander Rossi $24, & Kyle Kirkwood $19 – You know my thoughts on Dixon. Grosjean qualified sixth last year at Long Beach with Dale Coyne Racing and will be in a theoretically faster car with Andretti Autosport this weekend. Rossi is so good at this track and well past due for a weekend where nothing goes wrong. If that happens he’s almost certainly on the podium. Kirkwood has been the star of the rookie class so far and should be good value at $19.