AUTO RACING: Rossi weaves way to 3rd in Texas
Nevada City native Alexander Rossi continued his solid 2018 campaign with a third place finish in last night’s 248-lap race at Texas Motor Speedway. He moves back into second place in the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship standings.
The Andretti Autosport fleet was ready to spoil the Team Penske party, as Rossi and his teammates made strong runs to chase the top three race qualifiers for Chevy. Halfway through the race, the Hondas were up front and Rossi had been in the top five all night. Even after struggling with pit stops, Rossi clawed back to the front with the multi-car passes that have caused a buzz all season.
With temperatures in the high 90’s all day, teams were worried about tire issues, but the Honda frontrunners fortunately faced very few challenges in the cooler evening temperatures. With Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud dominating early in the race, it was Scott Dixon, Robert Wickens and Rossi that mixed it up in the second half.
The checkered flag went to Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dixon, who led a race-high 119 laps and moves to first in the Championship. Rossi and Pagenaud provided the fan entertainment in the closing laps, as Rossi tried some risky passes for second position.
“Simon did a good job defending,” said Rossi. “We tried to go up high, and I would have taken it if it was an easy one, but I couldn’t force the issue. The NAPA AUTO PARTS car was awesome from the get-go. We were able to pass some cars and go long on fuel. The tire life was great, so all-in-all a great effort from the 27 team.”
Andretti Autosport COO and strategist for the 27 team Rob Edwards added, “This was our fifth podium of the year and seventh top five in nine races. The consistency is a credit to Alex and the No. 27 crew. It wasn’t our best night in the pits, but we kept fighting and Alex made some great passes. We’re going to have to start finishing in front of Dixon to win this championship, and there’s no better place to start than Road America.”
The IndyCar teams get a weekend off before their next race at Road America. The Kohler Grand Prix takes place June 22-24 in Elkhart Lake, WI. The Series is now halfway through the season, with eight races remaining on the calendar.
Article was submitted by Alexander Rossi Media.
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