IndyCar has a new big swinging dick at the cracker factory and his name is Alexander Rossi. The 2016 Indy 500 winner has started off 2018 with an absolute bang. After two podium finishes in the first two races, Rossi asserted his dominance on the field in serial killer fashion on Sunday.
Rossi methodically dominated the entire weekend behind the wheel of his #27 Andretti Autosport Honda. From practice to qualifying to the race, it was Rossi’s weekend and we were all there to witness it. On Saturday Rossi played mind tricks with Team Penske, beating Will Power and Josef Newgarden out of the pits everytime the track went green. He clearly got in their heads as he stormed to the pole.
On Sunday Rossi lead 71 of 85 laps en route to his third IndyCar win. Rossi now has won at Indianapolis, Watkins Glen, and Long Beach. Coincidentally all three are former sites of the US Grand Prix for the ex-F1 driver.
Rossi’s win was never really in doubt on Sunday. A late race caution with 10 laps to go was the only time Rossi’s win was possibly in doubt. Even on the last restart Rossi pulled away from Power and managed his push to pass effectively to never allow Power to get close enough.
So far in 2018 Rossi has had a chance to win all three races. At St. Pete he was second on the final restart and collided with leader Robert Wickens and finished third. In Phoenix Rossi put on a show but came up short again with another third. Long Beach could be the first of many for the Formula 1 outcast this season.
Ganassi newcomer Ed Jones claimed his first podium of the year for his new team. Jones is blazingly fast, once he’s comfortable with the team look for the #10 to contend for wins. While we’re talking about young guys having good runs we’d be reminisced to not mention Marco Andretti. The third-gen driver went from 18th to 6th over the 85 laps, a great drive for him. Also, Andretti Autosport newcomer Zach Veach finished 4th, the smallest driver in the series at one of the most physical tracks, I think he’ll be alright.
Sebastian Bourdais had the pass of the year on Sunday as he blew past three cars into turn 1. When you watch the video you’ll think there is no way he doesn’t stuff it in the wall, instead he sends it deep and drives away. Unfortunately, IndyCar is a stickler for dumb rules and made the #18 give the spot back to Dixon because he passed in the pit lane exit.
The other incident of note on Sunday was Graham Rahal bulldozing his way through Simon Pagenaud at the start. The 2016 series champ didn’t even get a chance to make one corner before his race was over.
— IndyCar Series (@IndyCar) April 15, 2018
The series heads to Alabama next weekend for their annual race at Barber Motorsport Park. It’s the last race before the series heads to Indianapolis for the month of May.
|1||1||27||Alexander Rossi||NAPA Auto Parts (Andretti Autosport)||D/H/F||85||running||71||54|
|2||2||12||Will Power||Verizon (Roger Penske)||D/C/F||85||running||6||41|
|3||13||10||Ed Jones||NTT Data (Chip Ganassi)||D/H/F||85||running||0||35|
|4||16||26||Zach Veach||Group One Thousand One (Andretti Autosport)||D/H/F||85||running||0||32|
|5||5||15||Graham Rahal||Total / United Rentals (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)||D/H/F||85||running||0||30|
|6||20||98||Marco Andretti||U.S. Concrete / Curb (AHA with Curb-Agajanian)||D/H/F||85||running||0||28|
|7||6||1||Josef Newgarden||Verizon (Roger Penske)||D/C/F||85||running||3||27|
|8||11||14||Tony Kanaan||ABC Supply Co. (A.J. Foyt)||D/C/F||85||running||0||24|
|9||8||5||James Hinchcliffe||Arrow / Lucas Oil (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)||D/H/F||85||running||0||22|
|10||23||23||Charlie Kimball||Tresiba (Trevor Carlin)||D/C/F||85||running||0||20|
|11||4||9||Scott Dixon||PNC Bank / NTT Data (Chip Ganassi)||D/H/F||85||running||0||19|
|12||17||60||Jack Harvey||AutoNation / SiriusXM (Michael Shank with SPM)||D/H/F||85||running||0||18|
|13||9||18||Sebastien Bourdais||SealMaster / Sport Clips (Dale Coyne w/Vasser-Sullivan)||D/H/F||85||running||4||18|
|14||14||4||Matheus Leist||ABC Supply Co. (A.J. Foyt)||D/C/F||85||running||0||16|
|15||18||21||Spencer Pigot||Preferred Freezer Service / Direct Supply (Ed Carpenter Racing)||D/C/F||84||running||0||15|
|16||24||32||Kyle Kaiser||Juncos Racing (Juncos Racing)||D/C/F||84||running||0||14|
|17||15||59||Max Chilton||Gallagher (Trevor Carlin)||D/C/F||84||running||0||13|
|18||12||20||Jordan King||Fuzzy’s Vodka (Ed Carpenter Racing)||D/C/F||84||running||0||12|
|19||19||88||Gabby Chaves||Harding Group (Harding Racing)||D/C/F||83||running||0||11|
|20||7||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||DHL (Andretti Autosport)||D/H/F||81||running||1||11|
|21||22||30||Takuma Sato||Mi-Jack / Panasonic (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)||D/H/F||74||running||0||9|
|22||10||6||Robert Wickens||Lucas Oil (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)||D/H/F||73||running||0||8|
|23||21||19||Zachary Claman De Melo||Paysafe / Embratel (Dale Coyne)||D/H/F||58||crash||0||7|
|24||3||22||Simon Pagenaud||DXC Technology / Verizon (Roger Penske)||D/C/F||0||crash||0||6|
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