Road America Sunday Wrap-Up

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Fans of Alexander Rossi will look back on today’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America and think what a great race it was. Fans of other drivers will vent their frustration by saying what a boring race it was That’s the way it goes when a beatdown occurs on track. And make no mistake, this was a beatdown.

There was some great racing going on behind the leader, but after Rossi got by pole-sitter Colton Herta going through Turn One at the start – that was pretty well the end of the drama up front. Rossi was unchallenged throughout the race from that point.

We watched the start of the race and the first fifteen laps from the hill that overlooks Turn Five. By the time Rossi got down there on the first lap, he already had a decided advantage over Herta and the rest of the field. A few laps later, I noticed that Rossi was already through Turn Five before the second place car of Herta would even come into view as it raced through the Moraine Sweep heading into Turn Five. A few laps later, Rossi would be completely up the hill and out of our sight before Herta would come into view. Rossi checked out that quickly.

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Rossi was just on another planet compared to the rest of the field. There were good battles between Herta, Graham Rahal, Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon – who was turned around in Turn Five on the opening lap by Ryan Hunter-Reay, rejoined the race at the back of the field and still managed to finish fifth.

Fans without a dog in the hunt would have preferred a yellow, just to give Alexander Rossi a run for his money, but today’s race went caution-free. Consequently, the field spread out and Rossi was never threatened. He led fifty-four of the fifty-five laps. Graham Rahal led the other on a pit stop shuffle.

For the record, Will Power finished second and Josef Newgarden finished third. Rahal and Dixon rounded out the Top-Five. Newgarden is still leading in the championship, but his lead was trimmed from twenty-five points down to seven. This championship has quickly boiled down to a two-horse race. Simon Pagenaud had a forgettable ninth-place finish and is now sixty-one points behind Newgarden in the championship. Although he squeezed out a fifth-place finish after being punted by Hunter-Reay, he fell back to ninety-four points back in fourth. Pagenaud and Dixon have a lot of work to do and still hope for a lot of bad luck to come to Newgarden and Rossi. That’s not likely to happen.

In the post-race press conference, Rossi said that he thanked his crew after the race for giving him the most perfect race car he has ever driven. It certainly showed today.

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So congratulations to Alexander Rossi and Andretti Autosport on such a dominating performance. That’s two wins on the season that were both dominating. He won by more than twenty-eight seconds today and by more than twenty seconds at Long Beach. The seven races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season should be interesting to watch as Newgarden and Rossi fight it out. Whoever wins this championship will deserve it.

On Monday, I will have my usual Random Thoughts post up here. That will do it for us from the track. Thanks to all of you that have followed us as we enjoyed another weekend at Road America. If I was told I could go to only one race outside of Indianapolis, this would be my choice. If you ever come to this race, you’ll be addicted to it. We are already making plans for coming back next year.

Thanks again for following along and be sure and check back tomorrow.

George Phillips

8 Responses to “Road America Sunday Wrap-Up”

  1. Paul Fitzgerald Says:

    I was there also and since I’m a huge Rossi fan it was an awesome race at an awesome site.

  2. Will you be able to bring back any Spotted Cow?

  3. Ron Ford Says:

    Obviously Rossi has proved to be a good driver. Never-the-less, I find it odd that after he passed Herta and jumped out to an early 20 plus second lead, none of the other drivers could narrow the gap at all. Not Dixon, not Sato, not Rahal, not Simon, not Newgarden, and not Power. The 20 plus second gap remained that way all through the race. With all due respect to Rossi, I don’t think he is that good. Perhaps his engineer and crew gave him a outstanding setup. Perhaps they have found a way to keep his push to pass boost on for the entire race. The only driver I have seen run away and hide from the field was Vukovich at Indy.

    • Bruce Waine Says:

      In addition to …”Perhaps his engineer and crew gave him a(n) outstanding setup,” one might imagine that a measure of credit must be acknowledged to Rossi’s input to his engineer and crew which in total resulted in an outstanding setup.

      Just a minor addition to the equation, Ron, but not to be overlooked……….. :o).

  4. so this Beats Barber?

  5. I wish I could’ve been there

  6. Speedsport Says:

    You shouldn’t have left turn 5 when you did. There was action all day at Turn 5. Lot’s of good racing behind Rossi. Do you think everbody but Rossi was leaning toward a wet setup? And, that’s what gave him the advantage?

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