INDIANAPOLIS – There’s no doubt about it, Alexander Rossi is among the best NTT IndyCar Series drivers in the circuit right now. Last year, the American was in the hunt for the season championship, a year he came up just short to Scott Dixon in the end.
This year, he’s already won on the streets of Long Beach and sits third in the points standings heading into the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network).
Now, after two days of practice so far for the ‘500, Rossi seems happy. His No. 27 Honda was the quickest car on the no tow report on Wednesday, a feat that he’s happy for but says is irrelevant right now too.
But, Rossi is also very happy with his race car and right now looks like a driver that could win his second Indy 500 crown in four years.
If he can do so and also contend for the title again for a second straight year, Rossi is going to get PAID this offseason.
See, Rossi admitted in Wednesday’s press conference that he’s a free agent at years end. Yes, one of the best Indy Car drivers in the game doesn’t have a contract past 2019. Before everyone gets on how Andretti Autosport could let him walk, I’m sure discussions have been made already.
But, Rossi is just as smart as talented too. He knows Team Penske is courting him. After all, Rossi drives for them in IMSA competition. It’s no secret Penske would love to pair him with Josef Newgarden and either Will Power or Simon Pagenaud, or even both, as their teammates.
Chevrolet would obviously love to have Rossi too. On the flip side, Andretti and Honda certainly don’t want to lose Rossi either.
See where this gets expensive for someone? Rossi, is the top domino and will start a bidding war.
Rossi, is fine with waiting as a result. So much so, he calls silly season a distraction and one that he has no plans on talking about at the moment.
“Well, your guess is as good as mine, to be honest,” Rossi said on his contract situation for 2020 and beyond. “We’re just trying to get through this month and get through the year and somehow catch this guy to my left (Josef Newgarden). He’s had a hell of a start.
“I feel like any conversations and things about the future are pretty irrelevant and very distracting for the goal of what we’re trying to accomplish, and that’s to win a championship and to try and get some redemption on what we felt we kind of gave away last year.
“So that’s our main focus, my main priority, and I hope that everyone else in the organization is the same way.”
Rossi, has made 55 Indy Car starts and has reached victory lane in six of them already. Among those six wins are two at Long Beach, one at Indy (100th Running) and one at Watkins Glen. He’s also won at Mid-Ohio and Pocono too and has won five of his six races from the pole.
Despite being known for his hard charging mentality and one that’s not afraid to make passes where no one else would dare, Rossi has finished 51 of his 55 starts. That’s impressive for the moves he makes.
So, whoever grabs him for 2020, they’re getting their money worth.