Racing roundup: Rossi posts best showing of season | TheUnion.com
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Racing roundup: Rossi posts best showing of season

Nevada City native Alexander Rossi, left, waves to the crowd during driver introductions ahead of Saturday’s Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix. Rossi placed fourth in the race, his best showing of the 2021 IndyCar season. Photo
Submitted by Laura Bigham

Nevada City native Alexander Rossi earned his best finish of the 2021 IndyCar season over the weekend.

Competing in the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on Saturday, Rossi started 10th and weaved his way up six spots to earn a fourth-place finish on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

For Rossi, who drives the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts/AutoNation Honda for Andretti Autosport, it’s his first top-five finish through 12 races this season. Rossi’s previous best finish this season was seventh, which he made three times: May 15 at Grand Prix of Indianapolis; June 12 at the Grand Prix of Belle Isle; and June 20 at Grand Prix of Road America.



“In a year like this, we will take a day like today,” Rossi said in a social media post. “Great work by the whole team all weekend for a solid P4. On to St. Louis.”

Nevada City native Alexander Rossi, left, and girlfriend Kelly Mossup during opening ceremonies for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on Saturday. Photo
Submitted by Laura Bigham

Will Power won the race, his first of the season. Romain Grosjean was second, and Colton Herta placed third.



Rossi, now in his sixth-year competing in the IndyCar Series, currently sits in 12th place in the overall point standings.

Next up for the series is the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on Saturday. The race will be broadcast at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.

Andretti Autosport driver Alexander Rossi (27) during qualifications for IndyCar Indianapolis GP Auto Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Friday, in Indianapolis. Photo
Associated Press

DIBENEDETTO CLAIMS TOP-5 IN INDIANAPOLIS

Grass Valley native Matt DiBenedetto continued his late season surge with a fifth place finish at Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

DiBenedetto, who drives the No. 21 Motor Craft/Quick Lane Mustang for Wood Brothers Racing, started the race in 15th and sustained some body damage to the car on the start. DiBenedetto would suffer another setback when he was involved in a fender-banger in stage two of the race.

In stage three, DiBenedetto worked his way up to third with just six laps left thanks to a fortuitous yellow flag. Despite several crashes and cautions in the final laps, the seventh-year NASCAR Cup Series driver held on for a fifth place finish. For DiBenedetto, it was his third top-five finish of the season, and the fifth straight race in which he placed in the top 11.

A.J. Allmendinger won the race, holding off runner up Ryan Blaney and third-place Kyle Larson down the stretch.

There are just two races left before NASCAR’s playoffs get started and DiBenedetto is currently ranked 16th in the overall points standings. The top 16 drivers advance to the playoffs, which start Sept. 5 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.

Next up on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the FireKeepers Casino 400 in Brooklyn, Michigan. The race will be broadcast at noon Sunday on NBCSN.

SWEET FINISHES 3RD AT KNOXVILLE NATIONALS

Grass Valley’s Brad Sweet carved out a third place finish Saturday at the Knoxville Nationals, the premiere event for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.

Sweet, who drives the No. 49 NAPA Auto Parts sprint car for Kasey Kahne, started the $176,000-to-win race in second and was in the mix throughout, but in the end it was his brother-in-law Kyle Larson claiming the checkered the flag and the series-record pay day.

Sweet collected $37,500 for finishing third Saturday night at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway. The two-time and reigning World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champ remains atop the 2021 overall points standings with 7,360. Carson Macedo is in second with 7,220.

Next up for Sweet is a three-day stretch of races, starting Friday at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota. That race is followed by a Saturday competition at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, North Dakota. The weekend concludes with a Sunday race at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email wford@theunion.com

 


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