AUTO SPORTS: As season nears end, Rossi still running strong
The Verizon IndyCar Series returned to New York’s Watkins Glen International for the 10th Indy car race of the 2016 season, held at the scenic 3.37-mile road course and the first since 2010.
Nevada City native Alexander Rossi was able to gain seven places during the race, finishing in the top-10 for the sixth time this season. Following Sunday’s result, the IndyCar rookie collected another 24 points towards his overall Championship tally, putting him at a total of 370 overall and putting him at 11th the Driver Rankings.
Race day was met with higher temperatures as Rossi took his place on the grid. An incident-filled race saw the rookie keep a cool head amidst the chaos, making up places on the first lap to quickly battle into the top-10. Following the first pit stop, Rossi was running as high as fifth, as further incidents and yellow flags interrupted the race. With strategy coming into play, there was a dash for the finish on the final laps, with tires, fuel and potential for further yellows adding to the mix.
“Mega start by Alexander today – he made up a bunch of positions the first two laps and really put us in the game,” said car owner Bryan Herta. “From there we were looking pretty good, then at the end we dropped off a little bit those last few laps. We just had to get so aggressive to save fuel to make it to the finish. If we hadn’t had to drop off so much, we should have probably been in the top five. But, Alexander did good to make sure we could make it to the finish, and got a decent finish.”
With fuel-saving mode on, Rossi managed the No. 98 Castrol Edge/CURB Honda to the finish, taking the checkered flag in eighth and recording another top-10 finish for the team.
“To finish eighth was a decent result considering where we came from this weekend. We had to save a lot of fuel the last stint and be very disciplined not to push and use fuel. Had we not been in fuel save the last 20 laps we would finished fourth or fifth. Generally I think with a disappointing qualifying, that is the best that we could come up with. We’ll have to take this result and move on to Sonoma were I’m really looking forward to racing in my home state.”
The Series now turns to the final race, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and Rossi’s home race in California.
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.