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Rossi Finishes Sixth at Mid-Ohio

Alexander Rossi drove his No. 98 ShopAndretti.com Honda to his seventh top-ten finish of the season Sunday with a sixth-place finish at Mid-Ohio.

 

Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH USA Saturday 29 July 2017 Alexander Rossi, Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Honda World Copyright: Phillip Abbott LAT Images ref: Digital Image abbott_midohio_0717_3295

 

Rossi kicked the Honda Indy 200 weekend off strong, finishing Friday’s practice sessions fifth-fastest overall. In Saturday’s Practice 3 and Sunday’s morning warm up, Rossi topped the charts over his 20 competitors. The Indy 500 winner made it to the second round of qualifying, but admitted to a mistake when they made a last-minute change to the set-up and did not advance to the Firestone Fast Six, settling with a ninth starting position.

“I’m pretty disappointed to miss the (Firestone) Fast Six after running so well in the morning of practice,” said Rossi. “We just went the wrong direction with a change in session and it hurt us in the end. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we have a fast race car.”

Rossi and the No. 98 team went into the race with a strong strategy, confident they could move up the charts. Starting on Firestone Blacks (primary tires) can be a gamble, since the Reds (Firestone alternate tires) are typically the faster tire in short stints. If Rossi could hold his position at ninth and even move up a couple of spots, an early pit stop would put him on Firestone Reds and move him into contention of winning mid-race.

 

Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH USA Saturday 29 July 2017 Alexander Rossi, Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Honda World Copyright: Phillip Abbott LAT Images ref: Digital Image abbott_midohio_0717_5563

 

“We chose a pretty aggressive strategy starting on blacks [Firestone primary tires] and I think it was working pretty well for us,” said Rossi. “Unfortunately, the stint on used [Firestone alternate] reds was a lot more challenging than we originally thought it would be. We lost about 12 seconds on the reds, and that was the difference for us between challenging for a podium and finishing sixth.”

On Lap 18, Rossi and teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay made contact, which caused Hunter-Reay to spin. He recovered and went on to finish eighth.

“I was on reds and [Ryan] was on blacks,” said Rossi. “It was a 50/50 deal and it’s unfortunate that would ever happen to a teammate. We talked about it, we’ll move on and get back to working together in Pocono.”

The team will take a two-week break before heading to the Tricky Triangle for the second 500-mile race of 2017. Round 14 will go green on Sunday, August 20, with broadcast on NBC Sports Network.

 

Start / Finish: 9 / 6
Points Earned: 28
Points Standing / Total: 8 / 358

 

Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH USA Friday 28 July 2017 Alexander Rossi, Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Honda World Copyright: Scott R LePage LAT Images ref: Digital Image lepage-170728-to-1638

 

Next Race: ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway – Sunday August 20
How to Watch or Listen: NBCSN at 2 p.m. or listen on INDYCAR Radio on SiriusXM

 

NAPA@NAPARacing
Alexander Rossi: @AlexanderRossi
Andretti Autosport: @FollowAndretti

about author

Andretti Autosport

Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the NTT IndyCar Series, including the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda piloted by Alexander Rossi. The global racing enterprise boasts over 200 total race wins, four IndyCar Series championships, four Indy Lights championships, one Indy Pro 2000 and one USF2000 championship. The team has also captured victory five times at the famed Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, including the 100th Running with Alexander Rossi in 2016.

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