Alexander Rossi’s potential top-five day ended with a P16 at Road America yesterday. With no previous testing at this track (with the new 2018 car design), the Andretti Autosport drivers had to find speed quickly throughout the Kohler Grand Prix weekend. After some ups-and-downs in practice, Rossi and the crew of the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda were in good shape after a solid P4 qualifying effort on Saturday.
Road America is a long and challenging 4-mile, 14-turn permanent road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Rossi was strong in the first two stints, holding steady in third position for much of the race.
Then on lap 38 of 55, Rossi radioed his crew to complain of an issue with the left front. After quickly coming into the pits, he shut down the car for a moment while the crew fixed the problem.
"I definitely think we had a car to fight for a podium finish,” said Rossi. "Halfway though the third stint we had some camber shims fall out of the left front suspension which made it pretty undrivable.”
The issue was fixed and Rossi was back on track, but unfortunately fell back to P19 in the running order. In the remaining laps, he grabbed three more spots and a few more Championship points.
“A very disappointing day for the entire 27 group, but there are seven races still to go and we’re still very much in the hunt," said Rob Edwards, Andretti Autosport COO and strategist for the 27 team. "We’re a tight team and we fight together. Impressed that Alex could go 17 laps on the last stint and run lap times within a second of the leaders to pick up some additional points.”
"It’s disappointing that something like that happened,” continued Rossi. "It’s the way the world and racing works sometimes, but we’re still second in the Championship and we’ll move our focus to Iowa.”
Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden won the race, with Rossi’s Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay finishing second. Points leader Scott Dixon finished third for Chip Ganassi Racing. For complete race results, click HERE.
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action Sunday, July 8 with the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. The race from the 0.894-mile oval airs live at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN. For more information, click HERE.