The fans in Toronto were treated to another exciting street show by the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend. Alexander Rossi was one of the drivers who had some hard battles and major challenges to overcome in the 85-lap Honda Indy Toronto.
Starting fifth next to his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, Rossi was comfortably running in sixth throughout the first stint. On lap 28, he made light contact with a slowing Will Power, forcing the NAPA Racing driver to pit under caution for a front wing change. After falling back in the field, Rossi was caught up in an accident on Lap 33 in which he was briefly sent airborne During this yellow, Rossi came into the pits three times, once to change a punctured tire and another to change the front wing yet again.
"We had contact with Will [Power] and he had a bit of a problem going into Turn 3,” said Rossi. "I misjudged the closing rate so I had a front-wing change that put me to the back of the field. Then [Graham] Rahal spun around and I stopped to avoid it, but then Ryan [Hunter-Reay] hit me and I went airborne. We changed the wing again and stopped a couple more times.”
After falling as low as 18th, Rossi raced quickly through the field, assisted by attrition and mishaps from other drivers. The NAPA KNOW HOW crew worked swiftly in the pits to advance the 27 car to P8, the team’s 10th top-10 finish of the season. Scott Dixon won the race for Chip Ganassi Racing (full results).
“It’s a pretty disappointing result,” said Rossi. "I don’t think we had the car to beat Scott [Dixon], but for sure with the problems that everyone had we could’ve finished second. It’s been a difficult string of races. The fact that we finished eighth is a huge testament to the NAPA AUTO PARTS team and I’m so thankful for them. It was a difficult day and they kept me in it. We’ve had a lot of mistakes lately and there’s not a lot of time off so we have a lot of work to do.”
Rossi remains third in the Championship, just 8 points behind Josef Newgarden in second position, and 70 points behind the leader Scott Dixon. Five races remain in the season, with the Sonoma finale awarding double points.