The following story first appeared on the INDYCAR Mobile powered by NTT DATA app. For more information,visit www.indycar.com/mobile-app
Each race and venue on the 17-race NTT IndyCar Series schedule is important for its own particular reasons, but there are some venues that are iconic in status.
Alexander Rossi knows better than any driver in the series the importance of the iconic venues where he has scored victories. Perhaps no driver has begun his career with a string of victories at historic and traditional venues as the 27-year-old from Nevada City, California.
Rossi claimed his first career win in a race that was over 100 years in the making. It was the 100th Indianapolis 500 in 2016 when he made the term “clutch and coast” part of the glorious history of the 500. Rossi was able to get to his first career win by stretching his final tank of fuel 36 laps to the checkered flag at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Rossi was just a rookie at the time but was already displaying the raw talent and promise that was destined to make him a star in the NTT IndyCar Series.
Rossi’s second career win came at one of North America’s most traditional road courses. Rossi claimed his second win in an all-out duel with the legendary Scott Dixon at Watkins Glen International in September 2017. That road course in western New York is one of the most famous road courses in international racing because it was the home of the United States Grand Prix Formula One contest from 1961 to 1980.
Watkins Glen International is known as the “Soul of American Road Racing.”
Rossi’s third career NTT IndyCar Series win came in the biggest street race in North America and arguably the second-biggest street race in the world behind the Grand Prix of Monaco. It was the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in April 2018 when Rossi started on the pole, drove away from the field and led 71 of the 85 laps in the race, yielding the lead during pit stop sequences.
IndyCar win No. 4 for Rossi came at the famed Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a popular venue that opened in 1962 and began hosting IndyCar events on the old CART schedule from 1980-2003. It has been part of the current NTT IndyCar Series since 2007.
Rossi’s next win came at Pocono Raceway, a unique 2.5-mile triangle-shaped oval that was an original track of the old USAC Championship “Triple Crown” beginning in 1970. Some of the greatest names in the history of the sport have won at Pocono in the past.
Rossi claimed his first repeat win at a venue with another dominant victory in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach this past April.
Last weekend, Rossi’s streak of wins at iconic facility continued with a victory at the massive and historic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. At 4.014-miles in length and 14-turns through the beautiful forests of Wisconsin, Road America is known as “America’s National Park of Speed.”
With all of these victories coming at iconic facilities, Rossi is on his way to an iconic career in IndyCar history.
“I don’t know if it is important, other than the Indianapolis 500,” Rossi told NTT INDYCAR Mobile. “I don’t care where you get a race win, as long as you are winning races. Each track presents a unique challenge and we are showing our diversity. The only thing we are missing is a short oval win and we have two more chances to do that the rest of the year.”
Earlier in his career, Rossi had won a race in a Formula BMW contest at Road America. In his fourth IndyCar race at Road America, Rossi is a winner.
“For whatever reason, we haven't had a good result (at Road America),” Rossi said. “It took four years to even get in the top 10. We've always had pace, but just haven't closed the deal on Sunday. To be able to not only close the deal, but do it in the way we did, feels good.
“I love this racetrack. I love the crowd. I love the energy that exists here from the fans. It's a special one for me, I'm sure.”
Rossi’s latest victory was nearly 30 seconds over second-place Will Power of Team Penske. The only thing Rossi did not achieve last weekend was winning the pole, falling just short of 19-year-old rookie Colton Herta.
It was Rossi’s race, however, and he continues to collect his victories on the most historic and famous tracks on the schedule.