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Race Report: Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 21, 2024) -- The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach turned into a mixed bag of results for AJ Foyt Racing.


For Sting Ray Robb and the crew, heads-up driving, good strategy and solid pit stops resulted in the No. 41 Chevrolet gaining seven positions to finish 18th in a race slowed by just one caution.


As various pit stop strategies saw cars pop in and out of the top-10, Robb, who started 25th, gained track position by not pitting during the only caution on lap 15 when over half the field did pit. He ran in the top-10, and as high as ninth, for 11 laps until his first stop on lap 26. Although he cycled back after that stop, he advanced to 14th before his final stop on lap 57. He dropped back to 22nd but then advanced after an on-track pass and final stops by drivers on a three-stop strategy.

Sting Ray and his crew was all smiles after the race.

“We have concluded the Long Beach Grand Prix on somewhat of a high note," said the 22-year-old Christian athlete. "Really proud of the Chevrolet team. We had some really good pit stops that were clean. We made up a few spots along the way on strategy and made up some spots in the end based off of that early racing stint and avoiding the attrition. Super proud of the team and super proud of the progress we made through the weekend. We needed a really clean day, and today was that clean day. Now we can build momentum heading into Barber. I want to thank the crew. We’re here on their front porch pretty much here in California. Having them all out here was good and good too to have their support and cheers. We’re looking forward to the next one.”


Santino Ferrucci was one of those drivers whose team opted for the three-stop strategy, a gamble which didn't pay off for the Sexton Properties crew despite clean, fast pit stops. Starting 24th, Ferrucci pitted during the caution caused by Christian Rasmussen's spin and contact with the wall on the exit of Turn 4 on lap 15. Although Ferrucci cycled as high as 10th during the various pit stop cycles, he had to pit on lap 68, marking his third stop, and dropped to 23rd. He gained a couple spots before the checkered fell on lap 85.


“Not our day, not our weekend," said Ferrucci. "Couldn't get much practice because of electrical issues so didn't qualify well. The race was what it was. We took a gamble with the pit stops. Everyone can always Monday morning quarterback, but we kind of figured we'd either end up in the top-10 or 21st. We ended up 21st. The Sexton Properties Chevrolet is in one piece, and we move on to Barber.”


Although the race didn't go as planned, Larry Foyt (L) and race engineer James Schnabel (M) share a laugh with Ferrucci (R).

Team President Larry Foyt, who is also Ferrucci's strategist, summed up, "It was a rough weekend all around for the 14 car. We struggled with an electrical issue and lost a lot of practice time and that didn't help us for the race. Santino really drove hard and the car was decent but probably not good enough to go forward on the three-stop strategy which we ended up taking.  With just one early yellow, a two-stopper ended up being better, but sometimes you've got to gamble to try to get to the front when you start in the back. It didn't work today but the Sexton Properties crew had good pit stops all day and we brought the car home so that was good.


"That said, I'm really happy for Sting Ray," Foyt continued. "It looked like he had a really solid day and that was great for the car and crew. They had a lot of guests here this weekend so it was nice to have a solid race for them."


Scott Dixon pulled off a masterful victory using all of the guile of his 22-year IndyCar career to notch his 57th triumph which puts him just 10 behind A.J. Foyt's record 67 victories. Saving fuel paid off as he went 34 laps in his final stint and held off a hard-charging Colton Herta who finished second. Alex Palou, Josef Newgarden and Marcus Ericsson rounded out the top five.


The NTT INDYCAR Series heads east for the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix next weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Live coverage of the race on Sunday, April 28 starts at 1 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock, INDYCAR LIVE and the INDYCAR Radio Network.




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