Rossi started 32nd in the middle of the last row after having a cut tire on his qualification attempt on Pole Day on May 20. But Rossi is fast and isn’t afraid to drive through traffic, as he did at ISM Raceway in Phoenix on April 7 when he passed 53 cars on the track.
Because Rossi had a fast car in the back of the field, the general consensus was the winner of the 100th Indianapolis 500 in 2016 was still considered a potential winner.
Rossi made it all the way from 32nd to the lead by Lap 173.
Midway through the race, Rossi was right on target to make it from the back to the front.
“On Lap 110, we were 13th and I wanted to be 15th so we were a little ahead of schedule,” Rossi said. “When we were third with 50 laps to go, I thought we were in good shape. I tried to get those two more cars, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“We had a ‘Fast Nine’ car that we didn’t execute with, so I went into it with the expectation that we were going to win, it just didn’t work out in the end.”
Rossi’s charge to the front included two of the best passes in the race....