It's been 1,133 days since Alexander Rossi has been atop the NTT IndyCar Series podium as he took the win at the Gallagher Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.
To be honest, ever since Rossi announced that he would be leaving Andretti Autosport to Arrow McLaren SP in 2023, Rossi has been having fantastic runs since June 1st, with him having three podium finishes in seven races. Even though he has had bad luck and run-ins with current teammates since then, no driver has impressed me more than Rossi. For Rossi, he still can make the argument that he still belongs in the series and got a major monkey off his back as he looks on to finish his time with Andretti. The main struggle with Rossi's dominate win was the issue with Colton Herta as he struck a curb and had a transmission issue at lap 42 in which Rossi assumed the lead and never looked back.
Another feel good story in the race was Christian Lundgaard getting his first podium in the NTT IndyCar Series with a second place finish. In the past six races, Lundgaard has finished inside the top ten as he looks to be running away with the 2022 Rookie of the Year title.
Will Power assumed the points lead over 2022 Indianapolis 500 champion Marucs Ericcson at the end of the race with a third place finish. The gap is only nine points between the two with only four races left in the 2022 season but in terms of championship contenders only 81 points separate Will Power and Scott McLaughlin with seven drivers having a mathematical possibility of winning a championship at seasons end.
In all honesty, it was not the best race of the season so far and it certainly wasn't the worst race either as you had exciting racing through the midfield of this race. Although this race did have massive implications on the hunt for the 2022 Astor Cup
My only beef with the race was that the series should never play second-fiddle to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, especially in Indianapolis where IndyCar is king. To me, as a motorsports fan it is nice to see the top two series in America be together in a doubleheader style weekend. The big caveat is that in a pecking order, I will concede the Cup Series should be top billing with IndyCar right behind them if it was any other weekend. In my mind, a perfect doubleheader weekend would be at a place like Nashville. Where the IndyCar Series has the race downtown and NASCAR takes the Fairgrounds Speedway. Where both series show their absolute strengths and neither take any thing away from each other.
The IndyCar Series returns this weekend as the series returns to Nashville for the second running of the Nashville Grand Prix.
For more in-depth analysis of this race and news on the Alex Palou situation, listen to "Early Apex" on Thursday. You can find the show on Spotify.