INDIANAPOLIS – Alexander Rossi scored a 49-game losing streak dating back to the 2019 IndyCar season by winning on one of his favorite tracks, making sure to end his Andretti Autosport career on a positive note.
Rossi won on the road Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where his 2016 victory in the 100th edition of the Indianapolis 500 kicked off his career in American motorsports. Rossi’s latest victory was at Road America in the tenth race of the 2019 season.
“It’s a relief,” sighed Rossi on the victory podium. “There has been support for me for so long. A cry to Andretti Autosport in their continuous conviction. We still have something to do, but this has been a really great track to do it on – at home, in Indianapolis. It was really fantastic ”.
The long crisis has led him to look for a fresh start and the Californian native will leave Andretti at the end of his seventh season to drive next year with the Arrow McLaren SP. It was Michael Andretti who gave Rossi a chance in IndyCar when he left Formula 1 and returned to the United States looking to continue his career.
Rossi’s surprise victory as a rookie in the celebrated 100th edition of the Indy 500 made him a star and earned him a loyal sponsorship that has withstood its long drought. Some of his problems in the last three seasons have been inflicted by the team – mistakes, mechanical failures and a complete collapse of the Andretti team earlier this month in Mid-Ohio – and Saturday was certainly not a perfect day for the organization. .
Colton Herta controlled the first part of the race but slowed from the lead just before mid-race.
“Nothing I can do,” he said over the radio as he tried to get his underpowered Honda back to the pit lane.
He later walked alone down the pit lane to return to the paddock as the race continued without him.
“Man who is sad” Herta tweeted. “We have shown what we can do, we will keep going until we win again.”
Man, it’s sad … 😔😔 We have shown what we can do, we will carry on until we win again👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/QJeklz3PZn
– Colton Herta (@ColtonHerta) July 30, 2022
Rossi sympathized with his teammate.
“I feel for Colton, really. But I’m grateful that something has finally come our way, ”said Rossi. “I think Colton was pretty strong, and we had pretty much the same racing car, and that (battle) would have been interesting. But it was the turn of the 27. And it’s fantastic ”.
Meanwhile, rookie Andretti Devlin DeFrancesco drew the ire of Conor Daly as tempers flared as DeFrancesco took Daly off the track.
“Devlin must be kicked out of this racing series! He is an idiot! ” Daly yelled into the radio.
“Devlin (Defrancesco) must be kicked out of this racing series. He’s an IDIOT!”@ ConorDaly22 he wants to see the Andretti Autosport driver take the boot #INDYCAR after this move on him. pic.twitter.com/x0LT2U4HYv
– INDYCAR on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) July 30, 2022
It has been speculated that Michael Andretti is reconsidering the possibility of bringing DeFrancesco back for a second season.
Christian Lundgaard, a Danish rookie who made his IndyCar debut in this race a year ago, finished second giving Rahal Letterman Lanigan his first podium of the season. He also gave Honda-powered riders a 1-2 finish.
Will Power finished third for Team Penske and the Chevrolet driver returned to the top of the IndyCar standings for the third time this season. He now holds a nine-point lead over Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson, who started last and finished 11th.
Scott McLaughlin finished fourth and was followed by Josef Newgarden as the Penske drivers worked together to cross the finish line in a row. Newgarden was only allowed to race Saturday by IndyCar’s medical staff after he collapsed and hit his head last Sunday at Iowa Speedway.
The race began with six drivers separated by 44 points with five races remaining in the IndyCar season. The six drivers are now separated by 52 points, with a tenth place finish from reigning series champion Alex Palou costing him ground.