Andretti Clash Meant Rossi Had Little Chance At The Title

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Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda felt he had little chance of winning the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

The clash on the opening lap of thr race caused Rossi to suffer a flat tire. Speaking following the race he said:

Hats off to the whole 27 NAPA Team. It was a great day for Andretti Autosport with Ryan [Hunter-Reay] winning so it’s very unfortunate what happened in Turn 1 on Lap 1. It’s a situation I’m sure we’ll all replay a lot of times but, at the end of the day, it’s been a good 2018 and I am very appreciative for all the support we’ve had this year. We came pretty close and we’ll work on the things we need to be better on and come back stronger next year. [Scott] Dixon’s the benchmark. He’s the five-time champion for a reason so he deserves it 100 percent and we’ll work very hard to come back and try to beat him next year.”

Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda who started the race from pole position took his second win of the season and speaking following the race he said:

Today was great. I felt like the race just didn’t want to end. I guess that’s what happens when you spend the whole day out front. Any time I needed the pace to put it down, we leapt out to a lead, I was able to maintain that. Hats off to this team, DHL, AutoNation, Honda – everyone involved. Honda really gave me great drivability, reliability. The Firestone tires were great. Shout out to Kerry Doughty, CEO of Butterball, fighting cancer at home right now. His name was on the side of our car today – this is a special win for him and we’re honored to have him with us in spirit. Also a big shout out to Robbie Wickens – I want to dedicate that win to him and his fight. It was great to see the video message from him today and, hopefully he will back with us as soon as possible.”

Marco Andretti in the No.98 US Concrete Bryan Herta Autosport Honda was fifth having started the race in from fourth and speaking following the action he said:

I’m very pleased to be this quick on a road course here. Not a bad finish for the last race at Sonoma, I would’ve liked it to have gone a bit better. I think if we went with reds early on I think we could have kept [Simon] Pagenaud behind us. [Alexander] Rossi was amazingly quick and we tried to make it easy on him out of the pits and give him a shot. It was pretty cool of them, they knew I gave them the position, and they gave it back there at the end, so we were able to come out with a top five. Congrats to Ryan for closing out the year with a win. We’re ready for 2019.”

Reflecting on his first season in IndyCar, Zach Veach in the No.26 Group 1001 Honda who ended the Sonoma race in 14th he said:

“It was a really tough race for us. We got hit on the start and that damaged our undertray quite a bit, so we were running around with a few hundred pounds less downforce. That made the car very difficult to drive and then trying to make up for that damage – pushed a little too hard and made a mistake. That kind of ended our race, putting us a lap down. I’m frustrated in myself. I should’ve been a little more patient in what we had.”

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