Rossi Proves He’s “No Fluke”
The Verizon IndyCar series made it’s annual trek to the green open spaces of upstate New York to visit the legendary Watkins Glen International Raceway. In what was projected to be a wet race for the Sunday’s, IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen, resulted in a mad dash to the finish with pole sitter, Alexander Rossi taking the checkered. Watkins Glen is one of the best natural terrain road courses in North America and is perfectly suited to the high downforce IndyCars. The race was Alexander Rossi’s first victory since his monumental upset at the 100th running of the Indy 500 in 2016.
Rossi was quick all weekend. Staying in the top 5 all throughout practice sessions and then claiming pole on the last lap of qualifying on Saturday. Come Sunday, cars started on wet tires but quickly ditched them after lap one. The track had dried significantly and the wet tires weren’t proving useful in the barely damp conditions. From there it was all out attack mode for Rossi. Falling as far back as P8 after a botched fuel hose issue, but he made quick work of the field and returned to the front of the pack. What was even more surprising was the fact that he held off Scott Dixon, who finished 2nd, for the final 12 laps. Dixon has won 4 times at the Glen, including the track record holder. That is, until Rossi broke it during Saturday’s qualifications.
Points leader Josef Newgarden made things interesting when he locked up his brakes leaving pit lane, causing Sebastian Bourdais to rear-end the 27 year old Nashville native. Newgarden ended up finishing P18. During the race, action was non-stop. The Glen proving it’s worth by having passes all throughout the field. Max Chilton who’s had a rough go of it lately, finished P8 while veteren, and Ganassi teammate, Tony Kanaan finished dead last.
Rossi was a man on a mission all race long. Making passes going into the carousel after opting for the lower downforce package. Andretti Autosport guessed correctly on the rain not sticking around long, the lower downforce propelled Rossi and teammate Hunter-Reay onto the podium. Going into the season finale at Sonoma, IndyCar once again will have the final race decide it’s champion. This being the 10th consecutive year, with that being the case. Points standing are as follows: #1 Newgarden 560pts, #2 Dixon 557pts, #3 Castroneves 538pts, #4 Pagenaud 526pts, #5 Power 492pts, #6 Rossi 476pts, and #7 Rahal 466pts. All of which are still mathematically eligible going into a double points race at Sonoma.