Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda took his third victory of the season in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.
The Californian had a great fight with pole sitter Will Power to close the gap in the championship to 29 points behind leader Scott Dixon.
Speaking following the race, Rossi said:
“We came out in some traffic and it was really hard to be behind cars for some reason today. The No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda was better than everyone else, so it was an exceptional day but right now Rob [Wickens] and James [Hinchcliffe] and Ryan [Hunter-Reay] and everyone involved in that incident have our thoughts. It’s tough to really celebrate after what happened.
I really have to thank the team. I have amazing teammates. Zach [Veach] and Marco [Andretti] really helped me there in traffic so I owe them a beer, or a case of beer! I’ve just been leaning on Ryan and Michael [Andretti] and Bryan [Herta] ever since day one to help me overcome the challenge that is superspeedways. You can’t do any of this without an amazing team, so I am very thankful to be on Andretti Autosport and have this great group of people. It’s a special day today. We’re going to try and win a championship. We’re executing like we need to do on Sundays and we’ll do everything we can to keep that rolling. There’s no time to rest now as we’re in Gateway next weekend.”
I’m very satisfied with how our race today went. During the big crash in the beginning, it turned out that our front wing adjuster got ripped off the nose of the car. We started the race a little conservative on front wing, to get through the first stint. Our plan was to keep adding throughout the race, but we weren’t able to so that kind of hurt us – we were stuck with that same front wing angle. As soon as I got close to cars, I struggled. We just needed a little more front wing which we couldn’t put in. But, all-in-all, I’m pretty happy with our day. Hoping that Robert [Wickens] is okay – we’re all thinking of him.”
“I think we made a good gamble to pit early. We came out and we were flying, and we leap-frogged everybody… and it figures we’d go 480 miles with no yellow, so we ended up right back where we started. But, we went for it and all we needed was a little help to be on the podium, but we had to save [fuel] most of the race. Coming away with a 100th top-10, but wish it was a win. We’re on to Gateway next weekend but sending good thoughts tonight to Robbie [Wickens]
Today was really unfortunate. I’m lucky to get out of that one and I just hope that Robert and everyone else involved is alright. We’re waiting on every word of his update and just really thinking of him. He had a run out of Turn 1, popped out to the outside and I stayed in the draft to Will [Power] in front of me. I closed up to Will and Wickens fell back. As we came to the corner, [Wickens] was at my left rear tire and I gave him some room to the bottom. I was pretty shocked I got hit in the back, but none of that matters right now – we’re just thinking about Robert and hoping he’s alright. It’s all very, very unfortunate.”