After a strong qualifying effort from the Andretti Autosport entries, Alexander Rossi was starting ninth and primed to win his second Indianapolis 500. He led 17 laps, over the course of Laps 102-123 and was in an entertaining lead swap with Championship-leader Scott Dixon. With one of the fastest cars on track, race analysts were reporting his chances were strong to dominate the remaining 80 laps.
However, Rossi was moved to the rear of the field following a controversial penalty for an unsafe release from his pit box during a pit stop on Lap 131. After a series of Rossi-esque passes trying to catch the leaders, he made contact with the outside wall on Lap 144 exiting Turn 2, ending the day early for the No. 27 team
"Up front, the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Andretti Honda was awesome," said Rossi. "I thought we had the car to win, and had we stayed up front we could have made a run for it. But, because of a pit lane penalty that we still don’t fully understand, we didn’t get to stay up front. We shouldn’t have been in a position to have to run in the back. There was a lot of dirty air back there and we just lost it. Not how we were hoping to see today go."
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is immediately back on track for a short oval doubleheader as they travel to WorldWide Technology Raceway, Aug. 29-30.
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