Alexander Rossi took home his second career victory in Sunday’s IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International.
Instead of running out of fuel where he had to “clutch and coast” like his win in the Indy 500, the 25-year-old driver from California was at full throttle taking the checkered flag at Watkins Glen International.
Rossi, who won the 100th Indianapolis 500 in 2016, started on the pole and had the fastest car in the race. But just like before he experienced issues. In what started as a “wet” race due to light showers earlier, Rossi led the field down pit road then after one lap as everyone took off the rain tires and put on the racing slicks. He was trying to get up to speed, when he lost traction on the tires and that allowed Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves to take the lead.
On Rossi’s second pit stop, there was an issue with the fuel hose – similar to what happened at Indy in 2016. He had to make an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 24 when his team realized they only put a half-tank of fuel into his Honda.“Fuel and I don’t seem to work in an IndyCar,” Rossi said. “I don’t know if I need to spend some time with the fuel rig and, like, coax it or something.”
The 12-second stop dropped Rossi way down on the grid, but redemption came just three laps later when Andretti Autosport teammate Takuma Sato stopped on the race course for a full course caution.
Most of the field pitted on Lap 28 but Rossi already had a full tank. When the green flag waved, Rossi was the leader but still had to save fuel. With his Honda, the best on the track in clean air as the leader, the Andretti Autosport driver opened a 12-second lead just nine laps later. “At that point, I knew we had the car to beat,” Rossi said.
Rossi dominated the news cycle this past weekend. He signed a contract extension at Andretti Autosport that will keep him with the team for 2018 and beyond, NAPA announced it would increase his sponsorship to 10 races next season and he won his first career pole on Saturday.
1st 1 Alexander Rossi, 2nd 2 Scott Dixon, 3rd 7 Ryan Hunter-Reay, 4th 6 Helio Castroneves, 5th 10 Graham Rahal, 6th 8 Will Power, 7th 5 Charlie Kimball, 8th 19 Max Chilton, 9th 12 Simon Pagenaud, 10th 11 Carlos Munoz, 11th 14 Conor Daly, 12th 13 Spencer Pigot, 13th 15 Ed Jones, 14th 18 Jack Harvey, 15th 21 JR Hildebrand, 16th 20 Marco Andretti, 17th 9 Sebastien Bourdais, 18th 3 Josef Newgarden, 19th 4 Takuma Sato, 20th 17 Tony Kanaan, 21st 16 James Hinchcliffe
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