Alexander Rossi, Max Chilton eager for first career IndyCar starts at Long Beach

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It’s about 450 miles south from Auburn, California to Long Beach, but Alexander Rossi hopes to feel right at home in his first career appearance in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Even though he’s a California native, this will be the first time Rossi has raced an Indy car in his home state.

“Long Beach is one of those races that you always hear about as an unbelievable venue and event, so I am very excited to be a part of it this year,” said Rossi, driver of the No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda. “This will be the first time in my professional career that I have raced at home in California and I will certainly be looking to put on a strong show for the local crowd.”

MORE: Late puncture halts Rossi’s impressive oval debut

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While it will be Rossi’s first time racing at Long Beach, Max Chilton will be making his second start on the nearly two-mile Verizon IndyCar Series street course on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, having raced there last season in the Indy Lights event.

“I think we should be optimistic for Long Beach this weekend,” said Chilton, driver of the No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. “I raced in Indy Lights here last year so I have some knowledge of the circuit.

“We have one street race under our belts in St. Petersburg this year, so there were a lot of lessons learned that can be applied here.”

But perhaps the biggest lesson Chilton will learn will come from teammate, defending Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner and 2015 series champion Scott Dixon.

Scott is the defending winner and really knows how to get around this place as well,” Chilton said. “So I’ll be looking to him for pointers before we get started on track Friday.”

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