Alexander Rossi scored a second place finish in the Detroit Grand Prix from the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
In a strategy-based 70 lap contest around the 2.35-mile street course, the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda team put together a three-stopper strategy. While the fellow top five finishers all completed two pit stops, Rossi’s stints were a couple laps longer except for when Will Power pitted four circuits later on the final stretch of the race.
It was down to the seven-time race winner, Rossi, to track down the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet, but simply wasn’t enough. Rossi managed to decrease the gap from 16 seconds to just over two as a lap remained.
Those final 18 laps to the checkers, the 2018 championship runner-up was driving as hard as ever and he hoped for Power’s alternate Firestone red tires to give out their might.
“I think one more lap would have been really interesting,” Rossi said, via Peacock. “You got to give credit to the 12 guys and Will. I mean that’s hard to do at the end, to hang on. Huge thanks to all these boys behind me. The 27 NAPA AutoNation Honda was amazing and yet again we come here with an amazing car and can’t quite get the win.
“Yeah it was a good recovery from yesterday, the strategy was good. We’ll take it.”
A fifth-place finish in last week’s Indianapolis 500, had the 2016 winner of the event ready for positive momentum to ride with. Now, Rossi has exactly that. These are his first back-to-back top five finishes since the 2020 doubleheader at the Indy Road Course.
To open the this year’s campaign, Rossi’s group doubled down for finishes outside the top 15 in the first two rounds. Since then, it’s been four top 10s in the last five races along with these two top fives.
“It’s good, I think we’re finally executing our potential,” he said. “It’s been frustrating for a lot of reasons. The speed has been there, it’s been a lot of factors, but it’s two weeks in a row the teams executed in a big way, pressure moments.”
Looming is that first win for Rossi since the 10th event of the 2019 season. The last victory lane he visited is located at the circuit the NTT IndyCar Series field is heading to next.
“Big thanks to them (team) and we’ll go into Road America,” he continued. “A place where we’ve had some success, it would be fitting to come full circle and win next week, we’ll try for that.”
While he and the Andretti Autosport team are beginning to build momentum, Arrow McLaren SP finally confirmed, on Friday, that Rossi would be a part of their organization in 2023 and going forward.
Before the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, two races ago. Rossi was 12th in the championship standings. The second and fifth place finishes have rocketed him to seventh, 74 points behind points leader, Power.
“Yeah, this team and who I am as a person are going to try to win the championship,” said Rossi. “I don’t care about any of the external factors. We’re here to win and we’ll keep pushing until we can accomplish that.”