Nevada City native Rossi wins Indy 500


Before the race

Nevada City native Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Rossi crossed the finish line as he ran out of fuel to become the first rookie to win the Indianapolis 500 since Helio Castroneves in 2001.

He accomplishes the upset in the 100th running of the race. He had so little fuel left, he couldn’t return his car to the start-finish line to celebrate.

“At one point we were 33rd, but we rolled the dice and came through and made it happen,” Rossi said on ESPN. “I have no idea how we pulled that off. We struggled a little bit with the pit stops, but Bryan [team co-owner Bryan Herta] came up with that unbelievable strategy.

“I just can’t believe that we’ve done this,” the 24-year-old said.

The last California-born race car driver to win an Indy 500 race was Robert Charles ‘Bob’ Sweikert in 1955.

In an interview on KCRA, Rossi tipped his hat to Nevada City, where his mom still resides. He wished she could have been at the race.

Rossi graduated at age 16 from Forest Lake Christian High School in Auburn to begin an auto racing career. Since he was 4 years old, Rossi recalled watching Formula 1 races on TV with his parents at their home in Nevada County.

Carlos Munoz, his Andretti Autosport teammate, finished second. Josef Newgarden takes third, followed by Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball.

After the race

209 Formula Car Starts
42 Wins
36 Poles
75 Podiums
20.1% Win Percentage

Racing Resume:
2016 Andretti Autosport IndyCar Series Race Driver
2016 Manor Racing Official Reserve Driver
2015 Manor Marussia F1 Team Race Driver
2015 GP2 Series Vice Champion (2nd overall)
2014 Marussia F1 Team Official Reserve Driver
2014 Official Caterham F1 Team Reserve Driver and GP2 EQ8 Caterham Racing
2013 Official Caterham F1 Team Reserve Driver and GP2 EQ8 Caterham Racing – Rookie of the Year
2012 World Series by Renault FR3.5 with Arden Caterham & Official Caterham F1 Test Driver
2011 Caterham AirAsia GP2 Series – Testing, Barcelona, Spain, October 2011
2011 World Series by Renault Championship (FR3.5 Series) – Third Overall and Rookie Champion
2011 Caterham AirAsia GP2 Series – Testing, Jerez Spain, September 2011
2010 ART Grand Prix GP3 – 4th Overall Championship
2009 BMW Sauber F1 Testing – F1 Superlicense Qualifications
2009 GP2 Asia / Meritus Racing and Ocean Racing – 9th Overall, 3 Top 5 Finishes
2009 International Formula Master Championship / ISR Racing – 4th Overall and Rookie Champion
2008 Formula BMW World Champion, 1st Place
2008 Formula BMW Americas 1st Champion, 10 wins
2007 Formula BMW Americas 3rd Overall, 3 wins
2006 Skip Barber National Series, 3rd Overall, 4 wins
2006 Skip Barber Western Regional Series, 1st Champion

(Photos: Alexander Rossi’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages)

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

7 thoughts on “Nevada City native Rossi wins Indy 500”

  1. How come The Union is running a wire service article when Alexander Rossi won the Indianapolis 500?
    Meanwhile, I received this email from a KCRA reporter: “Jeff Pelline, might you have a Rossi contact here locally? I work with KCRA , trying to find a local source….Thanks in advance…”
    I passed on the information, and KCRA had a LIVE interview with Alexander on the 5 p.m. news. “Thanks for your help,” the reporter wrote back. Well done!
    As for The Union, I guess we’ll have to keep waiting — until tomorrow I suppose.

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