LEEDS, Ala – It was a quiet weekend for the Andretti Autosport bunch. On Saturday afternoon, the entire team failed to get at least one car in the Fast Six at the Barber Motorsports Park. That was a bit shocking in how quick Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay were in practice on Friday. Rossi, was ninth, fifth and 10th respectively in practice this weekend while Hunter-Reay was fifth and sixth respectively on Friday alone.
But, neither them, nor their other two teammates qualified well. Rossi, was the best with an eighth place start. Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Zach Veach started 11th, 13th and 23rd respectively.
As the race went on, Andretti and Veach hung around the top 15 for most of the day in coming home 12th (Veach) and 14th (Andretti) respectively.
Rossi though, stayed in the top five for a majority of the day and capitalized with a fifth place run at one of his least favorite tracks.
“I’m just glad we’re done with it for another 12 months,” said Rossi. “It’s not my favorite joint. Huge effort from my NAPA Andretti Autosport guys. We fought all weekend. It hasn’t been a strong track for us in the past. We got through it. A top five is fine.”
This was one of those days where Rossi can hang his hat on as a championship type performance. He said coming into the season that he just needed to keep Scott Dixon and his main rivals to win the Astor Cup crown in his sights even if it’s at a track where he’s not statistically good at.
Instead of pushing it and making mistakes, he just needs to turn ho-hum quiet days into solid top fives. He did just that on Sunday.