Rossi Starts Strong in IndyCar Season Opener

March 11, 2019

The first race of the season is in the books and Alexander Rossi led the Andretti Autosport team with a P5 finish in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Rossi ran a clean, steady race on the on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary street course, leading two laps to secure an extra point (totaling 31) in the championship chase. 

“It was really all we had, pretty much where we started,” said Rossi. "It’s good for points but it’s disappointing, you always come to races wanting a win.” Rossi qualified sixth on Saturday and had hoped to make up a few spots on race day. But with only two yellows (tying for the fewest in race history) and the tough passing in dirty air, he chose to keep it safe and bring home the points. There were 24 entries in the race, considered to be one of the deepest in IndyCar history. 

"It was a good setup in the race, I just think we were one step behind our competition,” said Rossi. "We found the optimal setup, or at least a car that I was comfortable with, but we need to be a little more on top of it. Nonetheless a good recovery by the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Andretti Autosport boys.” [WATCH THE POST-RACE INTERVIEW]

Sunday's race is the first of a diverse and demanding 17-race NTT IndyCar Series schedule this season. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden won the race, with Scott Dixon and Will Power rounding out the podium. The NTT IndyCar Series now travels to Circuit of The Americasin Austin, Texas, on Sunday, March 24. The race airs live at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSNand the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

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