|Monday, June 12, 2017 11:28AM|
FORT WORTH, TX (June 10, 2017) – If “everything's bigger in Texas,” the Verizon IndyCar Series certainly delivered Saturday night with an incident-filled event at Texas Motor Speedway. With only eight of the 22 cars finishing the race, 12 of the non-finishing cars were forced out due to contact. Alexander Rossi was the first victim, taken out on lap 38 by the Ganassi Racing duo of Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon.
"I went to pass Tony (Kanaan) on the inside of (Turn) 3, and then we were three-wide when Scott suddenly came up late on my inside,” said Rossi. “There are two lanes here, but there aren't three. Tony turned down into me and pinched me down with nowhere to go.”
Kanaan made sandwiches a regular thing on Saturday night. He finished second despite being levied a 20-second stop-and-hold penalty after being involved in the largest incident of the race. On Lap 152, Kanaan, Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin went three wide into Turn 3. The cars of Kanaan and Hinchcliffe touched, ricocheting Hinchcliffe into Aleshin and triggering a mishap involving nine cars. No one was injured.
"We had a run on (Tony Kanaan) and he had plenty of room on the left, but he just came to the right,” said Hinchcliffe. "If you look at the replay, he comes all the way from the white line to the middle of the racetrack, just pinched me into Mikhail (Aleshin). Either his spotter didn't tell him we were three wide or what, but I couldn't go anywhere, I was sandwiched in the middle.”
Rossi qualified P3 and had a fast car all weekend. Despite the early exit, he remains ninth in the Championship.
"Our car started off struggling a little bit in the race, but then as the high-line started coming in we were getting better,” said Rossi. "It's unfortunate because our car was getting good and the track was coming in and I think it was going to turn out to be a decent night. Strange how two guys with so much experience on ovals would pull a move like that.“
Will Power led 180 of the 248 laps and won for Team Penske, with his teammate Simon Pagenaud finishing third. There were 23 lead changes among seven drivers, and nine cautions for the night. Dixon remains the points leader.
"Sadly we didn't get a chance to show what we had because we definitely had a car to compete for the win,” said Rob Edwards, Strategist for No. 98 and Chief Operating Officer for Andretti Autosport. "Trapped in the middle, three-wide on lap 38. Nothing else polite to say."
Finishing sixth, Marco Andretti was the only Rossi teammate that saw the checkered flag for Andretti Autosport. Hunter-Reay was involved in the nine-car incident on lap 152, and Sato spun on lap 244 causing the race to finish under caution.
The Verizon IndyCar Series travels to Elkhart Lake, WI, for the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America on June 25. The race airs live at 12:30pm ET on the NBC Sports Network.
ROSSI DEBUTS NEW LINE OF MERCHANDISE
Alexander Rossi is excited to debut new a new line of merchandise, highlighted by unique designs for T-shirts and hoodies. Inspired by southern California fashion, as well as Indianapolis racing themes, Rossi launches with eight designs, with more added in the coming weeks.