INDYCAR: Rossi returns to California for final race of IndyCar season
It was a little more than 15 months ago when Alexander Rossi claimed victory at the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 and truly announced his arrival as one of IndyCar’s brightest new stars.
Since then, the Nevada City native has become a regular at the front of the IndyCar pack. In his sophomore season, Rossi has strung together six straight top-6 finishes, including a win at Watkins Glen, and looks as strong as ever heading into the final race of the season.
“Alexander has been a great ambassador both on and off the track and, with only two years of IndyCar experience, he’s proven that he is a true competitor as well,” Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti said.
Rossi came to IndyCar ahead of the 2016 season after spending 2015 racing in Formula One. His stock in the racing world skyrocketed after winning IndyCar’s signature event in Indianapolis, finishing 11th in the overall point standings and earning Rookie of the Year honors.
Rossi hasn’t disappointed in his second IndyCar season.
For the year, Rossi has nine top-seven finishes, including three in the top three and one win. He also earned his first IndyCar pole of his career and is currently ranked sixth in the overall point standings.
In Rossi’s win at Watkins Glen two weeks ago, he got the opportunity to truly show off his racing acumen as he battled one of the sport’s best, Scott Dixon. Rossi would outlast Dixon in the final 12 laps to earn his second career IndyCar win.
“To have a 12-lap shootout against Scott, in the same equipment, starting 1-2 on a restart and being able to go and prove that I can beat him is pretty cool,” Rossi said after the race.
In addition to Rossi’s win at Watkins Glen, he has also reached the podium with a second-place finish at the Honda Indy Toronto street race and a third-place finish at the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Rossi also followed up his historic 2016 win at the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” with a seventh-place finish at this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the final IndyCar race of the season and Rossi can make even more progress in the point standings with a good showing. Rossi, who has 476 points this season, currently trails fifth-place Will Power by 16 points. Rossi is 84 points behind point leader Josef Newgarden. Last year, Rossi placed fifth at Sonoma.
Rossi’s ability on the track is undeniable and the powers that be have taken notice. He recently signed a multi-year deal with Andretti Autosport, and received a new deal with NAPA Auto Parts to continue sponsoring his No. 98 Honda.
“As always, this silly season is a challenging one for everyone involved, but I am very thankful to have such incredible support from Andretti Autosport, NAPA AUTO PARTS and Honda, and to extend our deal through 2019,” Rossi said in a press release. “The improvements that we have made this year and the relationships that I have built within the team over the past two seasons created the foundation for a very exciting future.
“On top of this, I’m very excited about the future of INDYCAR and where the whole series is headed. With the new car for next year, it is bound to be even more competitive and exciting than in years past and this is something that I am very proud to be a part of. It is an honor to race alongside such talented drivers and teams and I feel truly blessed in having the opportunity to showcase what I am capable of.”
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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