INDIANAPOLIS 500: Rossi’s bold moves earn him 4th
INDIANAPOLIS – Alexander Rossi of Nevada City drove from the last row to fourth place Sunday in the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner, started 32nd and boldly tried to win the Indianapolis 500 after in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda for Andretti Autosport.
Rossi led Lap 173 before pitting and returning to the fray in ninth place. He was in a final five-car, eight-lap battle for the win.
“It was the hardest Indy 500 I’ve ever done, not because of where we started, but the car was moving around an awful lot,” Rossi said. “I went into this with the expectation of winning; we just ran out of laps.”
Rossi advanced six positions after the first 10 laps and was up to 12th place on Lap 110 and was in the lead with 27 laps to go.
Rossi was attempting to become the first winner from the last row. The farthest back that any winner started was 28th in the inaugural race won by Ray Harroun in 1911 and Louis Meyer in 1936. The modern-day era mark belongs to Johnny Rutherford who won in 1974 after starting 25th.
“Starting that far back, I’m not entirely disappointed with the way things went today,” Rossi said. “We did what we could. We maximized what we had in the NAPA Honda and the Andretti team did everything right. I don’t look back and wish we could have done anything different.
“We didn’t have enough to win. You just tried to do your job and execute; each lap was a new lap, a new challenge, and a little bit different than the last one.”
Rossi finished 5.2237 seconds behind winner Will Power of Australia in a Team Penske Chevrolet.
“I’m surely happy for him (Power),” Rossi said. “I certainly have a lot of respect for what Will has done. All I can say to him is to enjoy the next six weeks because as the “500” winner he won’t be getting much sleep.”
Ed Carpenter Racing’s owner/driver Ed Carpenter finished second and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon rounded out the top three.
Courtesy of the Indy 500 News Bureau.
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