2021 IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach Preview

The NTT IndyCar series concludes its 2021 season this weekend at Long Beach.

Alex Palou heads the standings and has a 35 point advantage over Pato O’Ward after finishing second last weekend at Laguna Seca, while O’Ward finished fifth.

Third in the championship is Josef Newgarden who is 48 points behind Palou and 13 behind O’Ward having finished seventh last weekend. The Penske driver has a 24 point gap to fourth placed, and reigning champion, Scott Dixon who finished down in thirteenth in the round prior to this weekend.

The penultimate race of the season was won by Colton Herta, his second victory of 2021. The American is sixth in the driver standings heading to Long Beach and is 28 points behind fifth placed Marcus Ericsson and also has a 28 point margin over seventh placed Graham Rahal.

Road America Indy Car” by John Jackson is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The three main 2021 rookies are also set to be in action this weekend with Scott McLaughlin still the highest ranked, the New Zelander heading into the season finale thirteenth in the championship.

The Penske driver has a 20 point advantage over the next placed rookie of Romain Grosjean who is fifteenth in the championship. The Frenchman impressed once again at Laguna Seca where he ended up finishing third, his third top three finish of the season. In between McLaughlin and Grosjean is Jack Harvey who is five points behind the former and therefore 15 points ahead of Grosjean heading into this weekend.

Jimmie Johnson is the final 2021 rookie and goes to Long Beach placed twenty eighth in the driver standings. This after the seven time NASCAR Cup Series champion claimed his best finish to date in IndyCar last weekend, where Johnson was classified seventeenth. He is 24 points behind Max Chilton who is twenty fifth in the driver standings.

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