There will be plenty of star power on the track Sunday for the 48th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Defending champion American Josef Newgarden will headline an IndyCar Series field that features eight former champions, with Newgarden joined by Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves and Colton Herta. In all, the eight drivers have captured 11 checkered flags in Long Beach, with Power and Rossi both two-time champions.
Newgarden, a Tennessee native, said after last year’s thrilling race that Long Beach is high on the wish list for all IndyCar drivers.
“I’ve been trying to win a race here for 11 years, I’m so happy to get it done,” said Newgarden. “Everyone looks at this place as the crown jewel of our sport along with the Indy 500. It means a lot to win here.”
There will be storylines aplenty for Long Beach racing fans, with so many proven drivers zipping around the city’s temporary circuit for Sunday’s 85-lap race. Two-time champion Will Power edged Newgarden for the IndyCar series championship last year by just six points, and Newgarden comes into Long Beach hot after winning the series’ most recent event, the PPG 375 earlier this month.
Expectations will also be high for Alex Palou, who’s currently fifth in the IndyCar points total and who had a podium finish in Long Beach last year, and for Herta, who won in Long Beach in 2021 and who won the pole last year with a record-setting qualifying performance.
Herta was an odds-even bet to win Long Beach last year on several betting sites, a rarity in auto sports, but went into the wall at turn nine midway through the race, ending his repeat champion bid.
Sunday’s pre-race will begin at 11:45 a.m., with engines starting at 12:35 p.m. and the green flag scheduled to drop at 12:45 p.m.; the race will be broadcast on NBC and will stream on Peacock.
As always, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach isn’t just about the big race on Sunday, however. It’s long been Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President & CEO Jim Michaelian’s vision to have the weekend be filled with family-friendly events and other supporting races. This year’s highlights include Thunder Thursday at the Pike, the Super Drift Challenge Friday and Saturday evening, Historic F1 Challenge races on Saturday and Sunday, the IMSA SportsCar Grand Prix on Saturday, the Porsche Carrera Cup on Saturday, and the Long Beach tradition of closing out Sunday post-IndyCar race with the Stadium Super Trucks at 3:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at GPLB.com.