ESPN.com - Despite Indianapolis 500 loss, Alexander Rossi rising as American racing star

May 27, 2019

SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Alexander Rossi exited his car like an animal being released from its cage.

For nearly three hours in unexpectedly steamy conditions Sunday, the racer had thrashed his way around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had manhandled a car that didn't have as much horsepower as it needed. He had overcome a quicksand trench of a pit stop when his team couldn't get fuel into his car for a time-bending 23 seconds. He'd damn near been killed by a laps-down car that wouldn't get out of the way. A red flag had erased what looked like a late advantage.

Rossi dealt with all of that adversity and still took the lead in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing five different times. Along the way, he also led the event in gasps caused, applause generated, fist pumps produced, and he even managed to win over the admiration of the crustiest old Indianapolis 500 press box residents, those who'd worked so hard three years ago to discount his surprise Indianapolis victory.

The day was his. The race was his...

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