The long-expected departure of Alexander Rossi from Andretti Autosport was confirmed Wednesday as the team announced Kyle Kirkwood will drive its No. 27 Dallara-Honda next season.
Rossi will leave Andretti after seven seasons that included the 2016 Indy 500 among his seven wins. After saying a strong start in 2022 was essential to his future, Rossi has yet to score a podium in six races. He finished a season-best fifth in the Indy 500.
The Associated Press and other media outlets have reported Rossi is a strong candidate for a seat at Arrow McLaren SP next season. When his last deal was up three years ago, he re-signed with Andretti after being courted by Team Penske. He hasn’t won since signing that extension in July 2019 (his most recent victory was June 23, 2019 at Road America).
“Alexander has been a great contender for us, and we’ve enjoyed having him as part of the team for seven seasons,” Andretti Autosport Chairman and CEO Michael Andretti said in a release. “He’s won races and become a leader in the team, but all careers and all teams evolve, and we’ve mutually decided it’s time for each of us to move on. I have no doubt he’ll have a continued, successful IndyCar career and we wish him the best. In the meantime, we are all working hard to finish the 2022 season strong.”
— Andretti Autosport / #AllAndretti (@FollowAndretti) June 1, 2022
Kirkwood won the 2021 Indy Lights championship for Andretti before moving into a full-time ride with A.J. Foyt Racing as a rookie in the NTT IndyCar Series this year.
“I couldn’t be more excited to return to Andretti Autosport next year and represent AutoNation,” Kirkwood said in a release. “Andretti Autosport is a place I’ve called home for years past and I have truly felt like family. I have a ton of loyalty to the team, and it means a lot to have Michael and the Andretti team offer me this opportunity. AutoNation has been doing great work in raising awareness and funding for cancer research. I’m honored to Drive Pink (DRVPNK) next season.”
“I have worked extremely hard this season and will continue to work harder every day for the A.J. Foyt team. I want to thank the entire team at A.J. Foyt Racing for giving me the opportunity to compete in the NTT IndyCar Series. The group on the No. 14 car have been incredible and I am beyond grateful to them for all the amazing experiences we have been able to share together so far this season.”
AutoNation will be the primary sponsor of the car, continuing its partnership that started in 2014 with Andretti (the company has used the car to promote DRVPNK and its fight against cancer with nearly $35 million donated).
“We really enjoyed having Kyle as part of our Indy Lights team and he’s off to a strong start in IndyCar,” Andretti said. “I think he’ll bring a fresh perspective and will be competitive. We are looking forward to helping him continue his career growth.
“AutoNation first joined the team eight years ago and we’ve been thrilled to see how their support has continued to grow over the years. We’ve seen a lot of successes both on and off the track and are excited to see what Kyle and AutoNation can do together for the DRVPNK campaign.”
Said AutoNation CXO and EVP, Marc Cannon said: “We are excited to welcome Kyle to the team and for the passion and commitment he will bring to our mission to drive out cancer, through DRVPNK. We would also like to wish Alexander all the best and thank him for his endless efforts to support AutoNation’s mission to drive out cancer over the years.”