Alexander Rossi won Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for his second IndyCar victory of the season and fourth overall, starting from the pole and using a two-stop strategy to run away from the field.
The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner finished 12.8 seconds ahead of rookie Robert Wickens in the caution-free race on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course. The race covered 90 laps and 202.3 miles.
Will Power was third, 14.7 seconds back. Josef Newgarden was fourth and points leader Scott Dixon fifth.
Rossi also won the street race in Long Beach, California, in April. The victory Sunday was Andretti Autosport’s 60th in the series.
Rossi had a 23-second lead over Wickens when he made his second pit stop on Lap 59. Wickens took the lead, but because he had been so far behind when Rossi pitted, it was only a matter of time before he would fall behind again.
It happened on Lap 65, when Wickens went to the pits, and Rossi regained the lead as Power temporarily moved to second. Rossi cruised from there, and his only problem was trying to do a postrace doughnut in celebration but stalled the car.
“We knew we could two-stop if we committed early,” Rossi said.
He led 66 laps.
Dixon leads the series with 494 points, 46 more than Rossi. Newgarden, the defending champion, is third, 60 points back.
Rossi led the first 30 laps until pitting, allowing Wickens to take the lead. Prior to that, on Lap 26, Newgarden made a bold inside move to pass Rossi; because he pitted on the same lap, Newgarden was not credited with the lead.
On Lap 31, Rossi and a charging Dixon touched tires, but both remained on the track.
Power assumed the lead on Lap 40 after Wickens made his first stop and had to replace a blistered right front tire. He kept it until pitting on the 49th, allowing Rossi to regain the lead. Power was almost immediately passed by teammate Newgarden as they raced side by side.
The race got off to an auspicious start when Rossi, leading the field around the course to the green flag, brake-checked the field, almost causing an accident.
Told by reporters that Wickens had called the start “cheeky,” Rossi responded with “He complains a lot.”
The incident went to review, but no action was taken.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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