Andretti To Make His 200th Series Start At Sonoma This Weekend
Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti in the No.27 UFD Honda heads into this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series season finale GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma aiming for a strong result to celebrate his 200th series start.
The Nazareth native goes into the weekend, in 10th place in the series standings and will be hoping that he can have a strong end to the year which he can build on over the winter ahead of the 2018 season.
Andretti began his Verizon IndyCar Series career in 2006, following in the wheel tracks of his dad Michael and his Grandfather Mario. Since making his debut, Andretti has two wins to his name in the Verizon IndyCar Series with his first trip to victory lane coming at the 2006 race in Sonoma where the series ends this season he will be hoping for a strong showing there this weekend.
Speaking ahead of the race, Andretti commented by saying:
Sonoma has been good to me in the past and I think we should be strong here again this year. It is my favorite track on the schedule and it’s important for the UFD team to end the season on a high note, especially with double points up for grabs this weekend.
Alexander Rossi in the No.98 NAPA Auto Parts with Curb Honda heads to his home race this weekend with a mathematical chance of winning the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
The Californian has had a breakthrough season in 2017, and last time out at Watkins Glen he scored his first Verizon P1 Award and completely dominated the 60 lap race to take his first road course race win in the Verizon IndyCar Series having won on his Indianapolis 500 debut last season.
In 2016, Rossi led a total of 23 laps over the course of the season however he has increased this dramatically in 2017 as he just needs to lead one lap this weekend to bring his total to 100 laps for the season.
Rossi will of course be hoping that the lap he leads will be the final one that he get him to victory lane.
Speaking ahead of the race this weekend, Rossi who just announced he will remain with Andretti Autosport in 2018 with NAPA sponsorship commented by saying:
It was a big confidence booster to get our first pole and win of the season in the NAPA car at The Glen and it couldn’t have come at a better time as we head into my home race. Sonoma is always a special event for me as there is a lot of local support from my hometown that shows up and gives me the extra motivation to get a good result. We have all the pieces in place to succeed, so it’s now just about executing and doing our job come race day.
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda will be hoping to build on his strong performance last time out at Watkins Glen where he finished on the podium in third place this weekend at a track where he has had plenty of success.
Before speaking about the race this weekend, the Florida native commented by saying:
First of all, I’d like to say on behalf of my family, we’re keeping our fellow Floridians and everyone else affected by the recent hurricanes in our thoughts.
Looking ahead to the race this weekend, Hunter Reay commented by saying:
“I’m really looking forward to getting to Sonoma for the season finale. The DHL Honda has been strong there the last few years and the team is looking to keep the momentum rolling after last weekend’s podium. It’s our last chance to win this year so we’re going to give it our all and look to end the season on a high note.
It has been a fantastic season for Takuma Sato who this weekend will pilot the yellow and black No.26 Dickinson Fleet Services Honda. Having won the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in May, the Japanese driver is hoping to end his season on a high note.
Speaking ahead of the race this weekend he commented by saying:
I cannot believe it’s already the last race of the season, but Sonoma is the perfect venue for the finale. It’s a gorgeous area for wine and foods, so of course we all enjoy the fantastic environment alongside of extremely exciting racing. The track is challenging and tricky, but we have been fast in the recent road courses and team has good history on this track. I’m really looking forward to having a good race in the Dickinson car.