Peace out, 2020 : Season In Review

November 18, 2020

Along with the rest of the sports world, motorsports had to shuffle and adapt to the unknowns of 2020. With limited testing, compressed race weekends and doubleheaders, the IndyCar teams and drivers were playing catch-up and often left on the back foot. 

Alexander Rossi and his Andretti Autosport crew had been championship contenders the last two years and had their eyes set on this season's crown. But 2020 reared its ugly head in the first two races, with mechanical issues affecting Rossi on the Texas oval and at the Indy Grand Prix

Contact forced him out in the first race of the Road America doubleheader, but Rossi clawed back for a much-needed podium in race two. [ watch the NBC interview ]

After a pair of top-ten finishes in Iowa (that moved him from 23rd to 10th in the Championship), it was onward to the Indianapolis 500. In the cockpit of yet another 500-winning car, Rossi led 17 laps and was running at the front of the field most of the day. But after a controversial pit lane penalty forced him to the back of the field, Rossi made contact with the wall trying to make his way through the backmarkers. 

2020 vibes continued to muck up any podium plans for the No. 27 NAPA AutoNation Honda team as they traveled to St. Louis for another small-oval doubleheader. A crash before the start took Rossi out of race one. After extensive repairs, the crew found themselves behind the pace in race two. 

Determined to regain some mojo, Rossi then went on an impressive podium run. He brought home a 2nd and 3rd from Mid-Ohio, and the same two trophies from the newly-minted Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader at IMS. The four podiums in a row moved him to ninth in the points standings. 

The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg had become the finale of the shuffled 2020 season. Rossi qualified P2, and with a fast car and quick pit stops, was leading a majority of the race. But after the track became slick with rubber, he had an uncharacteristic spin into the wall that ended his day.

The disappointment lingers, but Rossi is already focused on 2021 and determined to bring home an IndyCar Championship. In addition to his full-time duties with Andretti Autosport, Rossi is expected to continue competing in the IMSA endurance races with a to-be-announced team. And while he didn't participate in this year's Baja 1000 due to scheduling conflicts, Rossi hopes to join the Honda Off-Road Racing team again in 2021. 

RELATED: Acura secures 2020 IMSA DPi Championship
NOTABLE: Rossi voted INDYCAR Fan Favorite 



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