Sunny Florida welcomed the Verizon IndyCar Series 2017 opener to St. Petersburg, for the seventh-consecutive year, the same race where Alexander Rossi made his IndyCar debut just one year earlier. Winding through the city’s streets, the 110-lap race saw plenty of action.
Rossi’s No. 98 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda clocked fast speeds throughout three practice and continued through qualifying. The 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year moved through Round 1 of qualifying and battled through Round 2, just missing the opportunity to compete in the Firestone Fast Six. When qualifying concluded, Rossi had earned the eighth grid position.
During the race, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 champion had run as high as sixth and fought to maintain a top-10 running position. With a yellow flag interfering with the planned strategy, Rossi was forced to pit early, resulting in the loss of positions. While running his third stint, a punctured tire required the 25-year-old to pit, off-strategy, once again. While conserving fuel for the remainder of the race and running in the 13th position, Rossi continued to battle. When the checkered flags were waved, the California-native drove his NAPA AUTO PARTS car across the finish line in 11th.
Start / Finish: 8/11
Points Earned: 19
Points Standing / Total: 11th/19
Next Race: April 9, The Streets of Long Beach, Long Beach, California
How to Watch or Listen: 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Sirius channel 212, XM channel 209
Andretti Autosport, led by racing legend Michael Andretti, boasts a wide racing portfolio rooted in tradition and designed for success.
Under the banners of Andretti Autosport and Avalanche Andretti Formula E, the Indianapolis-based team fields multiple entries across the INDYCAR SERIES, Indy Lights, the FIA Formula E World Championship and the IMSA Prototype Challenge LMP3 division. The team also competes as Walkinshaw Andretti United in the Australian Supercars category through partnership with Walkinshaw Racing and United Autosports additionally the team fields an entry in the Extreme E championship via Andretti United Extreme E.
The global racing enterprise boasts four INDYCAR SERIES championships, five Indy Light titles, one Pro Mazda championship, a Silver Class GT4 Championship and has captured victory five times at the famed Indianapolis 500. The team also holds two X Games Gold Medals and five U.S. rallycross championships.