INDYCAR: Rossi struggles for rear grip in Iowa |

INDYCAR: Rossi struggles for rear grip in Iowa

Alexander Rossi drives his car during practice for the IndyCar Series auto race Saturday at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.
Associated Press | AP

NEWTON, Iowa – The Verizon IndyCar Series traveled to the midwest this weekend and battled hot temperatures on the short oval of Iowa Speedway. Three hundred laps on the 0.894-mile track lasted just under 2 hours and Alexander Rossi found himself with a different car than he had in practice the day before.

“For most of the race we were trying to tune in and get the car drivable, which we were able to do by the end,” said Rossi, a Nevada County native. “The last stint was the only time I felt comfortable in the car all day.”

An early draw in qualifying hindered Rossi’s run and he started in 12th.

“It was a pretty greasy qualifying run,” Rossi commented after the session. But the 98 car was strong in practices throughout Saturday, and Rossi liked his chances to move through the field.

“Unfortunately, the car was too loose on the first two stints and we lost too much ground,” said Rob Edwards, Strategist for No. 98 and Chief Operating Officer for Andretti Autosport. “We could match the leaders in the second half of the race, but just left ourselves with too much to do.”

Rossi’s Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, a three-time winner at Iowa Speedway, finished on the podium in third position.

“It’s unfortunate because I thought we had a really good race car through this weekend, but the temperature caught us by surprise and I don’t think we accounted enough for the effect it had on the car,” said Rossi. “Congrats to Ryan (Hunter-Reay) for getting on the podium and being where he should be.”

Helio Castroneves won the race for Team Penske, marking his 30th win in IndyCar. He is the ninth different winner in 11 races this season. J.R. Hildebrand finished second for Ed Carpenter Racing. Rossi remains ninth in points in the deeply talented IndyCar field.

The Verizon IndyCar Series travels to the streets of Toronto next weekend for the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday.

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