VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
DESERT DIAMOND PHOENIX GRAND PRIX
RACE REPORT
04.07.18
With a quick turn around from oval to street course setups, the team heads 370 miles west to the streets of Long Beach, California. Round 3 on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule will begin Friday, April 13, with two practice sessions followed by Saturday practice session and qualifying. The 85-lap race goes green Sunday at 4:42 p.m. ET with live coverage beginning on NBC Sports Network.

No. 27 MILITARY TO MOTORSPORTS HONDA
STARTED 4th // FINISHED 3rd
CHAMPIONSHIP: 2nd (72 pts.)
OF NOTE: After falling to the rear of the field and down a lap as the result of a drive-thru penalty, Alexander Rossi raced his way back to the led lap, making 53 passes to earn his second-consecutive podium finish.
“We had a strong start but then had a mishap on the first stop. It was unfortunate, but the important thing is that my crew is okay, that’s always my first concern. I didn’t challenge the box that hard, it was a stop under yellow so there wasn’t a need to – I went to turn right to line up and (the car) just went straight. Then we didn’t get the yellow we needed, so we had to completely un-lap ourselves and come back through the field. The Military To Motorsports Honda was by far the best car on track, I think, and it deserved to win. It wasn’t meant to be today, but I’m happy to stand on the podium.”

No. 28 DHL HONDA
STARTED 8th // FINISHED 5th
CHAMPIONSHIP: 5th (62 pts.)
OF NOTE: Led five laps with a podium-contending car, earning his second-consecutive top-five finish on his 220th career race start.
“I’m disappointed not to finish P2 tonight. I think we had the car to do that. A top five is nice, but we’re looking for podiums and wins. We had some issues in the pits tonight. I made a mistake on the first one – then we pitted a little bit too early, a little bit too late on one of them. But, it was an exciting race at the end and congrats to Josef on the win and to Alexander on the podium. I just wish we would have gone green a little bit sooner there at the end of the race; that would have made the show, I think. I’m not really sure what took so long that time to get back to green, but definitely a shame to not get back at it soon and have more time to get the DHL Honda to the podium it deserved.”

No. 98 OBERTO CIRCLE K / CURB HONDA
STARTED 20th // FINISHED 12th
CHAMPIONSHIP: 10th (40 pts.)
OF NOTE: The Oberto Circle K team fought hard to move the 98 car up from 20th position to finish 12th.
“Nice work to the Oberto Circle K crew for getting me in and out of the pits smoothly all night. We had a big day ahead of us from the start, starting 20th after a dropped skid in qualifying. Tonight, I think we were just down on COP all day. The number was just so low that we didn’t trust it – I think we were around 5% low off of what my teammates were running. We were just way behind on front wing all day and just kind of hanging on. I’m not thrilled to finish P12, but with what we were working with all day it was a decent result for us. We put the 98 to its limits tonight for sure.”

No. 26 GROUP ONE THOUSAND ONE HONDA

STARTED 23rd // FINISHED 16th
CHAMPIONSHIP: 17th (28 pts.)
OF NOTE: Started from the rear of the field and was shown as high as 10th on the time sheets (Lap 117) before seeing the checkered flag for the second race of his full-time rookie season.

“I’m extremely thankful. I think we had a much better showing tonight than in St. Pete. It was really hard to fight for 16th. We had a small mishap at the end, running 13th or 12th so I think we should have finished a little bit better. My Group One Thousand One guys have done a great job all weekend. We started a little behind with a mechanical issue earlier in the weekend and in qualifying. Starting last was tough, but we did the best we could to work through the field. The important thing, as Michael says, is every race I just have to complete every lap. We completed every lap here, and in St. Pete. If we do that, we’ll be pretty strong at the end of the year.”