Two trophies in Mid-Ohio

September 13, 2020

Another weekend of doubleheader INDYCAR racing is complete as the field of 23 cars took to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today for two 75-lap races. Alexander Rossi is coming home with two trophies, including a second place on Sunday that saw Andretti Autosport and Honda sweep the podium. 

Saturday's condensed scheduled included a short practice session, qualifying and race number one. Rossi qualified sixth and climbed three positions to finish third, and was the highest finishing Honda driver. He had not scored a podium since Road America back in June. 

“It’s good to see the NAPA team on the podium," said Rossi. "We just haven’t had a lot of things go our way, we’ve had luck but we really haven’t had pace either so we’re really just trying to go out and make the most of each opportunity we have for the rest of this season. The 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda guys did a great job, the car was good. I think had we been able to clear Ryan [Hunter-Reay] a bit sooner and then get Josef [Newgarden] we could have had a shot at it. I thought the car’s pace was really good but regardless [a win] wasn’t meant to be. Starting P6 was always going to be a little bit of a challenge but it was a good day for us."

On Sunday, morning rain showers ushered in plenty of drama for the split-field qualifying session, as drivers worked to navigate the wet-but-drying track. The result was multiple red flags and Rossi's lost track time made for a P10 qualifying start. 

The race saw an exciting first lap via a multi-car incident, but the Andretti stable came through clean. Rossi and teammates Colton Herta and Ryan Hunter-Reay quickly showed their dominance. Herta went on to win with Hunter-Reay finishing third. 

“It was a great day for the team, I’m really happy for Colton, Michael and Honda to sweep the podium," said Rossi. "I’m obviously disappointed on the 27 side to fall short of the win, but two podiums in two races is a lot better than the rest of the year has gone. I’m just so happy for Andretti Autosport and Michael (Andretti). It’s been a terrible year for us, kind of globally. So, to do this … hat’s off to Colton (Herta) and the 88 guys to get the win. But then just to sweep the podium, I’ve heard it’s the first time (for the team) since 2005. It’s very cool for us. The championship went away from us pretty early on, so we’re just focusing on race wins at this point and just trying to build a good foundation for next year, and I think we’re doing that right now. This is a step in the right direction.”

There are three races left in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. The next event is the INDYCAR Harvest GP doubleheader Oct. 2-3 on the 2.439-mile IMS road course. The season ends with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, Oct. 25.

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