The No. 98 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda was consistently strong all weekend at the Grand Prix of Long Beach before a mechanical issue cut Alexander Rossi and the team’s day short.
Practice sessions on the IndyCar Series street course showed promising speeds for Indianapolis 500 winner Rossi. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team built a fast car for the weekend, finishing third overall on the combined time charts following three practice sessions. The 25-year-old American also showed pace when he competed in his first ever Firestone Fast Six during qualifying, scoring a career-best grid position of fifth.
The sun was shining bright over the field as the green flag waved for the 85-lap Grand Prix of Long Beach. Rossi fought his way up the field running consistently in the top three for most of the race. Running in the second position and on his way to the team’s first podium finish of 2017, the No. 98 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda experienced a engine failure, forcing Rossi to retire from the race 23 laps early.
“I thought we had a really good shot at winning,” said Rossi. “The pace of the car was really good all day and we were able to recover from a little bit of a tricky pit stop sequence on the first stop, so it’s unfortunate because the NAPA AUTO PARTS car was awesome… we’ll just have to fight back at Barber. Honda has done an amazing job so it’s unfortunate, but congrats to Honda on another win.”
Start / Finish: 5 / 19
Points Earned: 11
Points Standing / Total: 19 / 30
Next Race: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, Sunday, April 23
How to Watch or Listen: 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN or IndyCar Radio Sirius 212/XM 209
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.