The INDYCAR Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader event was full of hardware for Alexander Rossi and his NAPA AutoNation crew as they earned podium finishes in both Race 1 and Race 2, coming home second and third, respectively. The results extend Rossi’s podium streak to four in a row exiting the Championship’s penultimate event.
Rossi took to qualifying Friday in the first group, but the group lost valuable green-flag running time due to a red flag caused by Takuma Sato. Without the opportunity to put down a fast lap on Firestone Red tires, Rossi started the race from eighth and climbed his way to the second position before taking the checkered.
“Having some things go right for us, things not go wrong and I executed,” said Rossi. “We unlocked a bit of pace in the car. Huge hats off to the whole entire Andretti Autosport organization and Honda. This place (IMS Road Course) has never been good to us in terms of performance, so to get a podium here is awesome.” [ read about the controversial penalty in race 1
Switching to the AutoNation Drive Pink color for Saturday’s race, Rossi posted his best qualifying result of the season, starting from third. After battling for 75 laps and running as high as second, the 27 crossed the finish line in P3.
“Another good day. It was the best qualifying we’ve had all year, so it’s good to be able so start up front, finally. Ultimately, we tried something different with our tire choice in the last stint–I’m not mad about it –but it was the wrong choice. Did it cost us the win? Maybe not. Did it cost us second? Probably. But, ultimately, four races, four podiums and we’re pretty happy.”
With 80 total career INDYCAR races under his belt, Rossi now holds a total of 24 podium finishes and 51 top 10s. After a disappointing 2020 season, the last four podium finishes moved Rossi into ninth position in the standings.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is Oct. 24-25. The event is usually the first race of the year, but was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns. It will now serve as the INDYCAR season finale.