The iconic "month of May" kicks off with an 85-lap race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But a mixture of a poor qualifying and early contact made it a difficult day for Alexander Rossi and the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS team.
After taking the grid at the INDYCAR Grand Prix from the 17th position (Rossi’s lowest starting position since early 2017), the championship contender’s race was ruined before he even crossed the flag stand. Ahead of the green flag, rookie driver Patricio O’Ward ran into the rear end of Rossi’s racing machine as they were headed to the start line.
The contact forced Rossi to limp his car around the 2.439-mile track and back to pit lane to fix the suspension, thus placing the California-native four laps down. Despite having a quick car and setting fast laps in the rain, there was nothing that could be done but hope for some attrition.
“The race was over before it began,” said Rossi. “We got hit from behind before the green flag even flew. We went four laps down to fix the suspension and from there we were just hoping that cars would fall out and, unfortunately, no one really did, and we ended up 22nd."
"I guess one consolation we can take is we finally had a fast car (here on the IMS road course). I think we were top three to four in the dry and the quickest car in the wet. Today was just a day of ‘what could have been’.” (full results)
Rossi remains third in the Championship.
The teams and drivers switch gears to concentrate onto the iconic oval and the Indianapolis 500. After four days of practice, qualifying and bump day are slated for May 18-19, and the race on May 26.
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