Rossi comes up short in Indy 500 bid

INDIANAPOLIS — Alexander Rossi was asked what made the difference in the end that cost him in his duel with Simon Pagenaud in the closing laps of the 103rd Indianapolis 500.

He said it was the horsepower differential between Chevrolet and Honda and the straight-line speed.

“Obviously the 22 guys fully deserve it,” Rossi said. “They were on pole. He led probably 70 percent of the laps. Yeah, I mean, he was a deserving winner for sure.”

The last caution particularly hurt him, as he was going to cycle out to the lead at the conclusion of the green flag pit cycle, having passed Pagenaud for said spot.

“We were doing a lot better on fuel mileage than (Pagenaud) was, so that was the first kind of nail in the proverbial coffin.”

On the final restart with 13 laps to go, Pagenaud pounced on him coming to the line and took the lead heading into Turn 1. He was able to match him for a few laps, and even took the lead with three laps to go. But with two to go, Pagenaud overtook him for the final time and won.

“We didn’t have the speed out front,” he said. “I mean, I was flat for the last 15 laps, and there’s not much more you can do.”

Bad luck basically sums up the day for Rossi at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to the untimely caution, he suffered a slow stop because the fuel pump wouldn’t connect to his car. Then came his battle with the lapped car of Oriol Servia, who blocked him for multiple laps.

“I think it was one of the most disrespectful things I’ve ever seen in a race car, to be honest,” he said. “He’s a lap down and defending, putting me to the wall at 230 miles an hour. It’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable for him, and it’s unacceptable that INDYCAR allowed it to happen as long as they did.”

At the end of the day, it was an excellent race to the win that he and Pagenaud put on. Maybe in time, he said he could take solace in that aspect.

“Ultimately it was a good day for the team,” he said. “You know, I think that we put a huge focus all month as we always do on the race car. The car was by far the best in the field in terms of what we could do and pass at will when I needed to. I didn’t see anyone else doing that. So a huge testament to the whole Andretti Autosport organization for really my fourth year here giving me a car that was capable of winning.

“So that’s a great thing, and I’m very, very thankful for that.

“But as I said, leading up to this many times, once you’ve won this thing once, the desire to win just ramps up exponentially every year, so it sucks to come this close and really have nothing that we as a team could have done differently. I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the effort that they always put in, and yeah, when we get No. 2, it’s going to be probably a huge explosion of emotions because we all want it really bad.”

He leaves Indianapolis third in points, trailing new points leader Pagenaud by 23.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles