What started as a promising day for the Andretti Autosport team ended in disappointment on the streets of Long Beach. Teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi both ran consistently in the top three after starting third and fifth, respectively. The duo’s pace put them on track for a pair of podium finishes before mechanical issues forced early retirement. The days of Marco Andretti and Takuma Sato were also cut short after suffering mechanical issues of their own. The four unrelated and unforeseeable issues served a blow to the quartet as they now look to fight back in two-weeks time.
The Verizon IndyCar Series heads to Barber Motorsports Park next for a weekend of road-course racing beginning on April 21 with race day live on NBC Sports Network on April 23.
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No. 28 DHL Honda
Started: 3 // Finished: 17
Laps led: 28
Was running in second-place, charging for the lead when the No. 28 machine experienced an electrical issue, sidelining Hunter-Reay on Lap 79 of 85
“We had a good showing for DHL and Honda today, but I don’t know what happened. It was something electrical. I tried cycling the car a few times and it didn’t fire. Then, once we had sat (in the runoff) for a few moments, we tried flipping a few switches and it fired back up again but it was too late to rejoin the race. It felt like the same issue we had at Pocono (2016). It really hurts when it’s that close to the end and I was closing on (Hinchcliffe); we were going to have a good showdown there at the end. That’s why this sport can be so rewarding and so cruel, there’s nothing you can do. Frustrating for sure but today it was out of our hands.”
No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda
Started: 18 // Finished: 18
Highest running position: 12
Experienced engine failure on Lap 78, forcing the No. 26 to retire early
“It was a long and tough day. We went a different way with strategy and dedicated to a three-stop race. It just didn’t flow as we wished. In the end, we lost power and had to park. Certainly, after practice and qualifying and this morning I felt really strong in the car and it’s a shame we couldn’t finish… but we will work to come back strong.”
No. 98 NAPA AUTO PARTS / Curb Honda
Started: 5 // Finished: 19
Highest running position: 2
Was challenging for a podium finish, running in second place on Lap 62 when the No. 98 experienced engine failure
“I thought we had a really good shot at winning. The pace of the car was really good all day and we were able to recover from a little bit of a tricky pit stop sequence on the first stop, so it’s unfortunate because the NAPA AUTO PARTS car was awesome… we’ll just have to fight back at Barber. Honda has done an amazing job so it’s unfortunate, but congrats to Honda and Hinch on the win.”
No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda
Started: 10 / Finished: 20
Highest running position: 8
Completed just 14 laps of today’s race when an electrical sensor failure ended the day early for the No. 27 team
“We had a decent start to the day, and the three-stop strategy would have been interesting. The UFD car had good pace and the boys were good in the pits on the first stop, then we had a sensor issue and our day was done. We need to pull back together and play catch up.”