|Sunday, May 14, 2017 8:17AM|
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 13, 2017) – The extraordinary "month of May" kicked off this weekend with the IndyCar Grand Prix, running 85 laps on the road course inside the oval of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Despite some technical challenges throughout the weekend, Alexander Rossi hung in for a strong P8 in the talented 22-car field, collecting valuable points.
At the green flag Rossi had an excellent start, grabbing three spots and moving up to 6th position. “The start was really strong, but we chose the wrong downforce level on the car," said Rossi. "That was a pretty big difference with respect to tire wear during the latter half of each stint. This hurt our run up the charts and we had to settle for 8th."
Throughout the Friday practices and qualifying session, Rossi was in the top 10, but couldn't push all the way to the top. He qualified P9 and knew that race day could go either way. With clean pit stops for the #98 NAPA KNOW HOW team and no yellows in the race, Rossi showed his race craft despite excessive tire wear on both the Firestone Red (alternate) and Black (primary) tires.
“The plan was to go long on the first stint, but the tires started to go off part way through. so we had to stop early and lost a few spots," said Rob Edwards, Strategist for No. 98 and Chief Operating Officer for Andretti Autosport. "Alex drove back through the field on the second stint, and then hung on for the third stint on blacks. We were fast on the final stint on sticker reds. Good to get a top ten finish after Phoenix, but unless you win you always want more. A solid job from the guys in the pits, and now on to the 500."