By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Alexander Rossi earned a hard-fought 10th in the opening race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit.
Rossi, fresh off his career-defining win in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, started the afternoon in 17th, but a wealth of strategies amongst the grid helped progress the California native up the scoreboard.
The 24-year-old began the day behind Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti, with the two exchanging passes on several occasions, but as the race wore on Rossi began his march towards the top 10.
The No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda driver’s strategy helped push him by polesitter Simon Pagenaud, and mix it up with Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan before settling for his third top 10 finish of the season.
Rossi is tied with Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya for sixth in the championship standings.
Overall, Rossi was satisfied with the end result in his first trip on the Streets of Belle Isle, but believes that qualifying better will lead to more deserved finishes come race day.
“Starting 17th on any street track is going to be tough,” Rossi said. “We did a decent job maximizing our potential – I believe we could’ve gained a couple more positions though. I think generally it was an OK result.
“It is very important we qualify the NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda higher on the grid tomorrow so we have a better ability to prove we have a great race car.”