Photo: Getty Images

Rossi settles for P3 in Texas after intense battle with Pagenaud

Leave a comment

While Scott Dixon was running away in the final laps of the DXC Technology 600 on his way to victory, Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud waged a thrilling duel for second.

Rossi, who started eighth, was on the charge from the outset – he jumped up to fifth in the opening handful of laps – and was in contention for the win late in race, running third behind Pagenaud and Dixon on a restart with 34 laps remaining.

He tried passing Pagenaud on the outside entering Turn 1 on a number of occasions, even getting a nose ahead at times on corner entry, but Pagenaud held him at bay every single time.

It left Rossi to settle for P3, his fifth podium of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

FORT WORTH, TX – JUNE 09: Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet, and Alexander Rossi, driver of the #27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda, race during the Verizon IndyCar Series DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 9, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Rossi explained afterward that he was keen to not take unnecessary chances, especially in the wake of his error at the end of Race 2 from the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit.

Rossi even had a scary moment as well, braking loose in Turn 1 at one point while trying to pass Pagenaud. As a result, Rossi was sure to keep himself in check and not do anything overzealous.

“I tried I think on the penultimate restart to go high on Simon in lane two on Turn 1. That was pretty bad, almost catastrophic. After that, I realized lane two wasn’t really going to be an option for us,” Rossi explained.

Still, Rossi never felt that Pagenaud did anything dirty that put them in danger. Rather, he admitted that Pagenaud did a fine job of simply defending his position.

“Despite the runs I had, Simon was doing a good job covering the line into one,” Rossi revealed. “After last weekend, there was really no point in taking unnecessary risks. But the NAPA car was good enough to fight Scott (Dixon) probably. I don’t know if we had enough to beat him. But I think we were really good on tire life, ultimate pace.”

Rossi now sits second in the championship standings, 23 points behind new leader Scott Dixon

Follow@KyleMLavigne

Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

@MazdaRacing Twitter
Leave a comment

Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.

Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.

With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”

Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.

The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.

“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.

That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”