Scott Dixon might be Mr. Mid-Ohio but Alexander Rossi is quickly making a name for himself as well. A career that kicked off with a win at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in his rookie year, followed by a sophomore year with five top 5 qualifying positions and just as many wins – the best of which was a pole-to-win weekend in Watkins Glen last year, leads us to this season and his continued growth in the series and as an open-wheel driver.
Rossi has out-performed himself on qualifying efforts at 9 of the 13 races this year, setting new bars for his personal best at road courses, street circuits, and ovals. He’s growing at a steady pace and the results are not a fluke, rather they are the result of focus, attention to minute details, discipline and the ability to be critical of his own performance in order to hone his craft and learn from mistakes. Those markers are indicative of a long, healthy career in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Today marks Rossi’s fourth career pole position and third in 2018. This Verizon P1 Award came in an unexpected fashion, as something they discovered yesterday with the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda, which they thought would work against them, actually translated into a huge advantage over the rest of the field.
“We had a one-lap car on reds, so that was a unique thing that’s happened for us this year. We used it to our advantage. That’s the reason we sat there. We knew that was where our car was going to be best, one lap, going out.”
When you know, you know! The No. 27 Napa Auto Parts crew was confident in their strategy call, and boy did it pay off. Rossi was one of three drivers to break the 1:05 mark in qualifying. Will Power, one of the greatest IndyCar qualifiers of all time, and Rossi’s teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay were the other two – pretty impressive company to keep.
That company becomes stout competition when the green flag waves for the Honda Indy 200 tomorrow at 3:42 p.m. ET. Rossi’s competition should probably take note though – he’s won two of the three times he’s started from pole in the past. He could be making that a legit habit tomorrow if he keeps the clean air to himself. The 13th round of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season will air live on CNBC from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET. Make sure you are tuned in, or better yet come join us at the beautiful Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in person!