Rossi Takes Pocono Win; Closes In On Dixon

Robert Wickens Hospitalized After Accident

Scott Stiller
August 20, 2018 - 12:39 am
Alexander Rossi And The NAPA Andretti Autosport Crew Win ABC Supply 500 At Pocono

Chris Owens-IndyCar Series

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LONG POND, PA (93.7 The Fan) - Alexander Rossi is keeping the pressure on in the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship fight with Scott Dixon after winning Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

Rossi took the lead from pole-sitter Will Power on a Lap 6 restart and never looked back, leading 180 of 200-laps around the 2.5-mile triangular shaped track.  The victory was Rossi’s second in-a-row and third of the season.

“It was a big team win and a great day for the NAPA Auto Parts Andretti crew,” said Rossi.  “The fact that we were able to win the race is just a testament to the car I had from Andretti Autosport, really the work that my teammate Zach Veach put in at the test here last week”.

Power finished second and said he didn’t have enough for Rossi.

“I wasn’t quite good enough in traffic,” said Power.  “Rossi was very good in traffic.  We just had way too much push.”

PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon started 13th and used a combination of savvy driving, excellent pit-strategy from Mike Hull and several adjustments by his crew to earn his seventh podium finish of the year.

“It was a tough race for everyone,” said Dixon.  “We made several adjustments to the car – taking wing and more wing.  We got it to handle pretty well but congrats to Rossi and their team.  They did a hell of a job and deserved to win it.”

Rossi’s victory took a chunk out of Dixon’s championship points lead.  Dixon came into the race 46-points ahead but left 29-ponts ahead.

“Obviously we took a bit of a hit there with Rossi winning,” said Dixon.  “Somewhat of a frustrating day.”

Rossi now has the momentum heading into next Saturday night’s race at Gateway.

“We’re executing like we need to do, and we’ll do everything we can to keep that rolling,” said Rossi. “There’s no time to rest now as we’re in Gateway in five or six days”.

The race was delayed nearly two hours by a red-flag stoppage for track fencing repairs following a five-car incident on lap 7.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens made contact with Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay in turn two.  As Hunter-Reay spun, Wickens car launched over Hunter-Reay’s car into the catch fencing where it cartwheeled before landing on the track.

Wickens, who was awake and alert at the infield medical center, was transferred via medical helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pennsylvania where he is being treated for injuries to his lower extremities, right arm and spine in addition to suffering a pulmonary contusion.

The championship fight continues nest Saturday with the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline at Gateway Motorsports Park.

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