Alexander Rossi extends IndyCar stay with Andretti Autosport, Honda07/27/2019
Alexander Rossi will remain with Andretti Autosport and Honda for the foreseeable future.
IndyCar’s balance of power has been preserved as Alexander Rossi has ended his free agency with the decision to remain at Andretti Autosport for the foreseeable future.
By deciding to extend his stay with Andretti, the 27-year-old ensures that Andretti will continue to chase wins and championships against Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing. Rossi was the most-heralded free agent in the recent history of the discipline, coveted by nearly every organization in the paddock.
The winner of the 100th Indianapolis 500 was also pursued by both Chevrolet and Honda, the Andretti decision aided by Honda stepping-up its commitment to Andretti Autosport, extending their relationship in addition to the driver.
Rossi will carry sponsorship from NAPA Auto Pars and AutoNation. Specifically, Rossi’s No. 27 will carry NAPA colors in nine races in 2020, including the 104th Indianapolis 500. The AutoNation livery will be Rossi’s primary at seven other events.
“We’ve been working hard on this, and I’m happy to see everything come together,” Andretti said in a press release. “Since 2016, we’ve built a strong relationship with NAPA AUTO PARTS – they’re such a natural fit for the series, Alexander and for the team, and we’re pleased to be able to continue working with them into 2020 and beyond.
“We first met AutoNation through Ryan Hunter-Reay, and we can’t thank Ryan enough for his support and effort in helping the continued growth of that relationship. It’s been exciting to see AutoNation grow within the sport, and to see them now welcome Alexander to their family is just great.”
Rossi joined the Andretti IndyCar team in 2016 following a lifetime spent in the pursuit of a Formula 1 career. Rossi made five starts in Formula 1 with a best finish of 12th in the 2015 United States Grand Prix for Manor Marussia.
The Auburn, California native has won seven times with six poles over 62 IndyCar Series stats with Andretti. He has quickly shown the diversity needed to win in IndyCar with two oval victories, two street wins and three on permanent road courses.
He is currently second in the standings after finishing second to Scott Dixon in the 2018 championship.
And now is ready to become a perennial championship contender with Michael Andretti’s squad.
“It feels good to continue with Andretti Autosport,” Rossi said. “Over the past four years we’ve built a very strong team with great chemistry, and I believe that we have the tools necessary to win races and championships. I’m looking forward to not just calling this my team but my home in the IndyCar Series. Michael (Andretti), J-F (Thormann), Doug (Bresnahan) and the entire team have been working very hard to put all the pieces of this deal together, and it’s definitely a relief to have the future settled and be able to focus on the championship fight ahead of us.
“It’s fantastic to have NAPA AUTO PARTS, AutoNation and Honda supporting the 27 program. I’ve had the pleasure of developing a great relationship with both NAPA and Honda and couldn’t imagine not having them in my corner. AutoNation has always had a strong partnership with the team through Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to represent the Drive Pink campaign and getting to know the AutoNation team better.”
It’s also not lost on Honda Performance Development president Ted Klaus that his manufacturer will retain one of its best championship bets against Chevrolet’s Team Penske tandem.
“This is an important moment for Honda Performance Development,” said Ted Klaus, President, Honda Performance Development. “Andretti Autosport is unquestionably one of the premier teams in the NTT IndyCar Series, and we are gratified to earn their confidence for the foreseeable future. At HPD, our first goal every season is winning the Indianapolis 500, and Andretti Autosport has won more 500s for Honda than any other team. That said, HPD is fortunate to work with multiple high-caliber racing organizations. This commitment from Andretti Autosport strengthens our entire effort as we move into the next era of Indy car competition.”
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