(WATKINS GLEN, NY) – On the heels of the announcement that Alexander Rossi would be staying with Andretti Autosport in addition to signing a multi-year deal with NAPA AutoParts, the driver of the No. 98 Honda has earned the pole position for the IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen in a last lap steal from veteran IndyCar driver and Watkins Glen specialist, Scott Dixon.
After the checkered flag flew, Dixon and Josef Newgarden had clocked lap times that were .0001 apart. That’s not a fathomable segment of time. Moments like that deserve to be spotlighted as they add to the conversation we have almost every weekend – the Verizon IndyCar Series is by far, the tightest competition in racing.
Ganassi Racing and Team Penske drivers get a lot of that conversation around them, but all of the teams in the paddock contribute to its context and Andretti Autosport is a team you really should be taking note of, if you haven’t recently. They’ve been working quietly, getting all the pieces aligned and waiting to attack. We saw that happen today. First-time pole-sitter Alexander Rossi said the same,
“I think [qualifying results are] a representation of that [work], to have Takuma right there and Ryan really just miss out on advancing to the Fast Six by a hundredth or whatever. It just shows how strong our cars are. That’s a huge difference from last year. Huge credit to the whole team.”
Another thing that the team has going for them is stability. At Sonoma Raceway last season, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Michael Andretti announced that Ryan would be signing with the team through 2020, with DHL as the primary sponsor for the same amount of time. From what I’ve heard, the deal between Rossi, Andretti, and NAPA extends to about the same time.
Rossi admitted that maybe subconsciously, having the business end of things figured out also took a weight off his mind and added to the reasons he is excelling (and accel-ing, forgive me) this weekend. It doesn’t hurt that this place was on his bucket list and he loves driving here,
“I love this place,” Alex confessed, “It’s one of my favorite road courses in the whole world actually. It’s amazing to come here. It’s a joy to drive an IndyCar around here. This is IndyCar at their absolute best, Watkins Glen.”
Well said, Alexander. Tomorrow we will all be treated to exactly that… Indy cars performing to their highest standard on a track built for open-wheel racing.
Join us at Watkins Glen for the green flag Sunday, September 3rd at 1:47 p.m. If you can’t make it, tune in to NBCSN at 1:00 p.m. for full coverage of the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen!