UMS Client Rossi P8 in Tough IndyCar Grand Prix Battle
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 13, 2017) – The extraordinary "month of May" kicked off this weekend with the IndyCar Grand Prix, running 85 laps on the road course inside the oval of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Despite some technical challenges throughout the weekend, Alexander Rossi hung in for a strong P8 in the talented 22-car field, collecting valuable points. At the green flag Rossi had an excellent start, grabbing three spots and moving up to 6th position. “The start was really strong, but we chose the wrong downforce level on the car," said Rossi. "That was a pretty big difference with respect to tire wear during the latter half of each stint. This hurt our run up the charts and we had to settle for 8th." Throughout the Friday practices and qualifying session, Rossi was in the top 10, but couldn't push all the way to the top. He qualified P9 and knew that race day could go either way. With clean pit stops for the #98 NAPA KNOW HOW team and no yellows in the race, Rossi showed his race craft despite excessive tire wear on both the Firestone Red (alternate) and Black (primary) tires. “The plan was to go long on the first stint, but the tires started to go off part way through. so we had to stop early and lost a few spots," said Rob Edwards, Strategist for No. 98 and Chief Operating Officer for Andretti Autosport. "Alex drove back through the field on the second stint, and then hung on for the third stint on blacks. We were fast on the final stint on sticker reds. Good to get a top ten finish after Phoenix, but unless you win you always want more. A solid job from the guys in the pits, and now on to the 500." Will Power won the race for Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon was second, and Ryan Hunter-Reay brought home the third place for Andretti Autosport. Simon Pagenaud is the points leader, and Rossi moves up to ninth in championship standings. "It’s great for the team though that Ryan (Hunter-Reay) is on the podium and that the NAPA team was able to score another top 10. Now we shift our focus to defending our title at the (Indianapolis) 500,” said Rossi. The unique schedule for the Indianapolis 500 kicks-off Monday with a week long of practice sessions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Watch live practices on INDYCAR's YouTube channel or racecontrol.indycar.com.
Alexander Rossi 2017 Partners Include: Honda, NAPA Auto Parts, TAG Heuer, Alaska Coffee Roasting, Cannondale, ICM Partners, BLKBX Creative Group, Impact, OMP, CS&A, Arai, Axcel Fast Graphics, FIA Institute Young Driver's Excellence Program