NAPA Racing driver and 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi collected a fifth-place finish at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season opener.
The Andretti team of four rolled off the trucks fast, and Alexander Rossi was quickly up to speed on the scenic streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. Placing fifth and sixth, respectively, in the weekend’s first two practice sessions, the No. 27 team was prepared for a solid qualifying effort.
A pair of red flags cut the first round of qualifying short, however Rossi still posted a quick lap that was good enough to advance into the second round. After placing himself comfortably within the top six of that session, the NAPA AUTO PARTS driver advanced into the first Firestone Fast Six of the season – where the Californian claimed a sixth-place starting position.
When the green flag was waved for Sunday’s 110-lap race, Rossi quickly jumped teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay to advance to the fifth position. Rossi, driving a clean and steady race, led two laps during the event and held his position consistently within the top five. The NAPA AutoCare Centers crew had a stellar performance in the pits, and the team left the sunshine state with valuable championship points to kick off the season.
Start / Finish: 6 / 6
Points Earned: 31
Points Standing / Total: 5th / 31 pts.
Next Race: INDYCAR Classic at Circuit of the Americas, Sunday, March 24 at 1:40 p.m. ET
How to Watch or Listen: NBC Sports Network or INDYCAR Radio Network Sirius 214//XM 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.