A new dawn for race fans arrived this weekend in the shape of a rookie.
American Alexander Rossi claimed victory in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, pocketing $2,548,743 in doing so. With his race victory, Rossi became the first American-born rookie to win the race since Louis Meyer in 1928.
Crawl to the Finish
Californian driver Rossi, in his blue and gold No. 98 NAPA-sponsored Andretti Herta Autosport-Honda, stretched his fuel and outlasted his rivals in the closing laps to claim an unlikely victory. The 24-year-old driver entered the race as a 66-1 shot.
Rossi's final lap time around the 2.5-mile track on Sunday afternoon was clocked at a snail’s pace. Desperate to stretch his final tank, it was run at a pedestrian 179.784 mph as he crawled over the winning line, a whopping 45.5 mph slower than the fastest lap run all day (which was set by Rossi just past halfway).
He won by nearly four-and-a-half seconds over Carlos Munoz. The average margin of victory over the past two years was .0823 seconds. Munoz’s second place finish was his second in four years, claiming a cool $788,743 in the process.
Rossi earned Andretti Autosport's fourth Indy victory, adding to those claimed by Dan Wheldon (2005), Dario Franchitti (2007) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014).
"At one point, we were 33rd, but we rolled the dice and came through and made it happen," said Rossi. "I have no idea how we pulled that off. We struggled a little bit with the pit stops, but Bryan (team co-owner Bryan Herta) came up with that unbelievable strategy. I just can't believe that we've done this."
Alexander Rossi's winnings included a $50,000 bonus from Sunoco for being the top rookie in the race. The overall purse for the 33 drivers was $13,273,253.
In front of over 350,000 spectators, the first sell-out in Indy 500 history, Rossi became the ninth rookie to win the race.
Sat-Sun, Oct 22 & Oct 23
Don’t miss your chance to meet Indy 500 winner and Formula One™ reserve driver Alexander Rossi in our Legends Club at the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™. Rossi, an IndyCar rookie who claimed the checkered flag at this year’s 100th Indy 500, will be on hand to meet and greet spectators at the Texas venue.
Serving as a reserve driver for Manor Racing on the F1™ circuit since 2015, Alexander has won at every level since his racing career began in go-karts at age 10. By 2006 at 14 years of age, he’d become a multiple National and International Karting Champion and the youngest open wheel racing champion in United States history. By 2008, Rossi had become Formula BMW World Champion holding the most series poles (10) and victories (14).
The Legends Club Hospitality experience, available only through the Circuit of the Americas Experiences program, is available for Saturday and/or Sunday access. Indulge in the luxury of a private dining area featuring gourmet food, premium bars, interactive experiences, racing and celebrity appearances. This trackside venue is the perfect place to entertain clients to reunite with their group, with the benefit of sanctuary from the elements.