MADISON, Illinois – This is one time when “Clutch and Coast” didn’t roll Alexander Rossi into victory lane.
The Andretti Autosport driver kept his momentum rolling and championship hopes alive with a strong second-place finish Saturday night in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline. This time, however, Rossi couldn’t make his famous fuel mileage magic result in a win.
The 26-year-old Californian was a player among the frontrunners throughout the 248-lap race at Gateway Motorsports Park. After making a pit stop on Lap 177 with the other leaders under caution, Rossi and his No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda crew elected to try and stretch the 18.5 gallons of ethanol the rest of the way.
It was reminiscent of his now-famous “Clutch and Coast” fuel-saving run to win the 100th Indianapolis 500 in 2016. Or how he was able to save enough fuel to make one less pit stop when he won four weeks ago in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio for the first of two straight wins as he sliced the gap to points leader Scott Dixon.
As the laps ticked away on Saturday night, however, Rossi had to slow enough to make the proper fuel mileage that Will Power passed him on Lap 236 and drove on to the win.
“It's a mental game because you're trying to obviously hit a fuel number to go X amount of laps, and it was a very, very big fuel number,” Rossi said. “Unlike the (Indy) 500 in 2016, I...
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