Ericsson Captures Points Lead with Podium Finish in Long BeachINDYCAR
Chip Ganassi Racing secured a podium finish for the 5th consecutive INDYCAR SERIES race at Long Beach today with Marcus Ericsson's P3 finish.
With the result, Ericsson and the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda team sit atop the points leaderboard (+15 advantage) through the first three races of the season. Ericsson registered his ninth career INDYCAR SERIES podium with five of those now coming on street course circuits.
Alex Palou raced near the front of the pack throughout the majority of the day and secured a P5 finish. The fastest lap laid down by any driver today belonged to Palou, who averaged 104.270 mph on lap 70 of 85.
Palou has recorded a top-5 finish in each of his three career races at Long Beach. The 2021 champion has also claimed a top-5 result 17 of his 36 (47%) career races with Chip Ganassi Racing.
In just his second career NTT INDYCAR SERIES race, Marcus Armstrong produced a P8 finish in impressive fashion. He advanced within the top-10 of the field on lap 27 and ran with that company for the remainder of the race.
Scott Dixon retired from the race after completing 37 laps due to complications from preceding contact with the No. 5 car. Dixon and the No. 9 PNC Bank team depart Long Beach holding the sixth-most points in the series standings.
Ericsson: "It was a really good weekend. We were fast all the way through. It was a hectic race. We were running very well and then on that restart in the middle, we dropped back a bit and lost some positions. But the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda was so fast out there and we made up the ground and finished on the podium. I'm really happy with that and now we have got the championship lead. Bring on the rest of the season."
Palou: "It's a bit of a sour day. I think our car was one of the strongest and was running very well at the beginning of the race. Unfortunately, I got caught up with an incident and had to wait until he (No. 5) was able to get back on track. We lost a lot of positions there, but happy that we recovered from 12th or 13th back to fifth. We got a top-5 finish, and then the podium for Marcus, so a solid effort by the team. We had strong cars and I can't wait for Barber in just a matter of days now."
Armstrong: "I think it was a great day. It was a genuine pleasure to drive the Ganassi car, as it was very well-balanced from start to finish, especially on the primary tires. The performance was there; It was just about finding that clear air."
Dixon: "I haven't seen a proper replay, but that seemed extremely late and it starts way before that. We're already committed to the corner. I understand that there is tire degradation, but I would not have chosen to do that … Disappointed with that. We passed the No. 60 but then just lost drive after that and got back to the pits. Frustrating day."
Source: Chip Ganassi Racing