Rossi looks to end losing streak at Road America |
Alexander Rossi tried to stop dwelling on his bad days, a necessary self-improvement chore as the last big day was two years ago.
Rossi races Sunday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the site of his last win in 2019. He went winless last year and this season has led just two laps. He is 14th in the standings.
“As the weeks go by, it gets easier and easier to swallow the pain, I get used to it,” Rossi told The Associated Press. “The motivation is still there, and I would say it’s as high or higher than anyone on the grid. I’m just able to recover from it much faster than before. Instead of feeling sorry for myself until Monday afternoon, I get up and go to the gym at 7 a.m.
Andretti Autosport is an enigma: Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe are having terrible years and Rossi is again below expectations. But Colton Herta has a win, has competed in other races and at ninth place in the standings is the top-ranked driver of the four-car team.
Hunter-Reay, who is within a year of contract and has not won a race since the 2018 season finale, said Herta’s performance indicates that Andretti as a whole is not a mess. He and Rossi believe the best tracks for Andretti are yet to come, starting with Road America.
“We are struggling to keep the cars in the top 10 at the moment. It’s not easy, ”said Hunter-Reay. “But I think the second half of the program suits Andretti’s strengths.”
Rossi noticed a trend among Andretti cars: they are competitive when they start out in front. Hunter-Reay’s last win was from pole, three of Herta’s four career wins are from pole and four of Rossi’s seven wins are from pole. Rossi started second or third in two of his other wins.
“It’s the harsh reality, but we have to understand why the races we win are when we are so dominant,” said Rossi. “You’re not going to win a championship if you can only win by starting first or second with a car two or three tenths (of a second) ahead.
“You have to be able to win in other ways. You have to be able to do it because you aren’t always going to have the best car every weekend, and you won’t be the best driver. Every weekend is too competitive.
IndyCar this season has had seven winners in eight races with points leader Pato O’Ward the only repeat winner. Rossi’s best result is seventh, even though he started second twice.
Rossi is not calling for any changes to his # 27 Honda team. He considers Road America “one of the best permanent road courses in the world” and believes a breakthrough is near.
Trackhouse aims to be the Nashville team: Trackhouse Racing showed up in Nashville outside Tootsie’s, the famous honkytonk located in the shadow of the Ryman Auditorium. In two years, he hopes to be NASCAR’s new professional sports team.
Trackhouse is in its first season of existence and is based in North Carolina, the hub for almost every NASCAR team. But team owner Justin Marks is a resident of Nashville, and by 2023 he wants Trackhouse to be operating in Music City, the heart of the downtown entertainment district.
“We really want to be the Nashville racing team,” said Marks, who secured sponsorship from Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge for the # 99 Chevrolet driven by Daniel Suarez.
This week’s Chevrolet was wrapped in purple and adorned with a pair of large orchids to match Tootsie’s iconic building on Lower Broadway. He will race on Sunday when the NASCAR’s Cup Series returns to Nashville for the first time in 37 years.
The Nashville Superspeedway has reopened after a decade of inactivity and the track will close a three-day weekend with its first-ever Cup race. It’s an important race for Marks, who has an unconventional long-term vision for this new NASCAR team.
He has teamed up with Pitbull and the artist will be on the track Saturday and Sunday for his fourth race of the season. Suarez, the 2016 Xfinity Series champion and only full-time Mexican driver in NASCAR, is in his fifth Cup season but happier with Trackhouse than his previous three teams. The pairing with Suarez and Pitbull fits Marks’ goal of achieving a largely intact population in NASCAR.
“Much of what we’re doing with the 99 car tries to tap into the Latin US market, which has a purchasing power of $ 1.3 trillion a year,” Marks said in an interview with the Associated Press. “It’s a great group of people, sports enthusiasts, and they’re American consumers. There isn’t really another team in NASCAR that has infiltrated this market.
And he wants to do it from Nashville, but in the entertainment district and not in the industrial park-like setup that many NASCAR teams have built.
“We don’t want to build something like they exist in Charlotte, we want something in downtown Nashville that is a public enterprise open to the public every day that is a race-themed attraction,” Marks said. . “We want to incorporate entertainment, music, whatever is synonymous with Nashville but with that Americana racing theme.”