Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda completely dominated today’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio sports car course on Sunday.
Having started the race from pole position the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner led over half of the 90 laps of the race and has closed the gap to Scott Dixon in the championship to 46 points with just four races remaining this season.
Speaking following the race, Rossi said:
We said coming into this weekend that we have to execute for five weekends in a row, this is the start of that, hopefully. The NAPA Andretti team were so on it today. They gave me an amazing race car, and this one’s for them. It was great strategy all day. We could make a two-stop if we committed early, and that’s what we did. Great fuel mileage from Honda, great tire life from Firestone, so an all-around perfect day.
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda finished the race in seventh place following a close battle with Sebstien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud. Speaking following the race he said:
“It wasn’t our day; it was kind of a mess. I felt like I was running around on crutches out there. We started out on the first set of sticker reds and had a left-front [tire] that was falling apart. I had a huge vibration so we had to pit early – there was no way around it – and that committed us to the strategy. Unfortunately, pitting early like that, then you just put yourself at risk for everybody to overcut you, continuing to run and we just got out of everybody’s way that way, unfortunately. I was just doing whatever I could to hold the floodgates back there at the end. I was on primary black tires racing everybody on sticky, alternate reds. I was doing whatever I could to keep it from coming around at the end. We definitely needed today to go better. It’s unfortunate it went this way today for the DHL, AutoNation and Butterball Turkey team. It’s a bummer. We started third and we thought we had a better shot at it today, but congrats to the No. 27 team and to Alex. He had a good run doing the ol’ two-stopper and it worked out. Everybody said that if it went green all day today, two stops wasn’t going to work, but he showed them.”
Zach Veach had a great home race in the No.26 Relay Group 1001 Honda as he finished the event in 10th place and speaking following the race he said:
“I’m slightly happy to bring home another top-10 finish. The last half of the season we wanted to be consistently in the top 10 and I want to prove that I belong here. I think we’re doing more and more of that every weekend. With no yellow [flags] today, I think we needed to qualify a little bit better to be able to race towards the front, but I’m just so happy that our Relay car had the speed but we just got caught in some traffic. It’s just hard racing out there, especially on the blacks. We were falling back so we were fighting with everything we could with those guys on the red tires, but I think overall it was a pretty good day for us. We learned a ton and I’m excited to go on to Pocono and hopefully we finish a few spots higher.”
Marco Andretti in the No.98 Ruoff Home Mortgages Honda started the race from 13th place and finished the event in 11th place and speaking following the event he said:
I’m a bit bummed for the Ruoff Home Mortgage team. We had Bourdais beat and then, I’m not sure what happened, but he was able to gap us there on the second stint. We only had clear track on the second stint and we were flying, so we were one of the fastest cars out there, but the circumstances just didn’t work out.