Rossi Returns to Victory Lane; Thoughts on the Gallagher Grand Prix

Indycar photo by Joe Skibinski

It took 49 races and more than 1,100 days for Alexander Rossi to once again see the checkered flag first. It happened to be in the same venue where he won his first race, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track layout was different than when he won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, but a win is a win.

It’s not that Rossi forgot how to drive. He endured a telephone book’s worth of issues n the pits, bad luck, and untimely mechanical failures. How did he keep going through all of the frustration?

He told the media,

“It’s human nature to start to question things when it continually doesn’t kind of fall your way. You just have to remember that you’ve done it before, you can do it again.”

Rossi tried to take the lead on lap 2 with a bold move on Felix Rosenqvist going into turn one, but ended up off course and fell back to third. He later passed Rosenqvist and set off after teammate Colton Herta, who had charged from ninth to take the lead.

It appeared to be Herta’s race, but he slowed on lap 42 and barely coasted into the pit entrance. Rossi inherited the lead and never looked back.

Rossi’s eighth career win comes as his time with Andretti Autosport nears its end. He was happy that he could win for his crew. Rossi spoke about what winning at IMS means/
“…it’s a hard one to put into words. Every time I come here, I just appreciate it more and more, whether it’s for an event — I mean,
obviously the 500, but whether it’s this event, a
sponsorship thing, a media thing, giving laps around the
track. Like it’s just such an amazing place for us.
For me, being my seventh season in the series and
knowing what it means to the NTT INDYCAR Series, as
well, yeah.

I kind of was hoping on the Road America
weekend for it to kind of start and end this drought or
whatever there, but it actually ended here was actually kind
of a cooler story. To be able to go up on the lift with the
guys and let them experience that because that didn’t exist
in 2016, there’s a lot of special things about this place. The
fan turnout here for us as INDYCAR drivers is always
amazing, and seeing everyone with the merch and the
autograph session, it’s just a very special thing today for
sure.”

I have a feeling the gap to his next win will not be as long. Arrow McLaren SP will be very happy to have Rossi driving for them.

Great day for RLL

Overshadowed by Rossi’s win was Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s best day of the season. The team has struggled for results all season, but today rookie Christian Lundgaard finished a career best second, and Graham Rahal came home in seventh. It would be great to see this team become a factor over the last four races of the year.

Christian Lundgaard

Lundgaard extended his lead in the rookie standings to 27 points over David Malukas.

Power Leads- For Now

Will Power retook the points lead over Marcus Ericsson. The difference between them is just nine points. Ericsson won at Nashville, the next race on the schedule.

The top five in points are separated by just 46 points. This race is still wide open.

Notes

Colton Herta may not want to race on Saturday anymore. Last Saturday in Iowa he made a great run through the field from his 17th starting spot only to have a mechanical issue and finish 24th. Today he took the lead from ninth and was in control at the halfway point when another issue put him out of the race.

I will have a race wrapup post tomorrow where I will discuss the call to stay green with a car stalled on track, whether three Indycar races at IMS is too many, and if this current shared weekend format should continue.

Thanks for following along. I appreciate you.

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