The season-ending INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma was always going to be an uphill battle for Alexander Rossi.
Championship leader Scott Dixon, who led Rossi by 29 points entering the weekend, outqualified Rossi – second to Rossi’s sixth – giving him a theoretical advantage before the race even began.
Things only got worse for Rossi when the green flag waved, as a disastrous first lap saw him make contact with his Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti, damaging Rossi’s front wing and then cutting the right-front tire on the way back to the pits.
Rossi ran in 25th after the stop for a new wing, and all appeared lost in terms of his championship hopes.
However, he got a lifeline on Lap 44...
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