By: Tanner Watkins
July 27, 2019 | 3:00 PM
There were more than a few fans of the NTT IndyCar Series that feared one of the sport’s rising stars was on the way out of his current team following the 2019 season. On Saturday, Alexander Rossi put those conversations on ice when it was announced the California native will stay with Andretti Autosport – for 2020 and beyond.
Rossi’s staying put comes as a result of backing by Honda, NAPA Auto Parts and AutoNation.
“We’ve been working hard on this, and I’m happy to see everything come together,” said Andretti Autosport Chairman and CEO, Michael Andretti.
“Since 2016, we’ve built a strong relationship with NAPA Auto Parts – they’re such a natural fit for the series, Alexander and for the team and we’re pleased to be able to continue working with them into 2020 and beyond.
“We first met AutoNation through Ryan Hunter-Reay – and we can’t thank Ryan enough for his support and efforts in helping the continued growth of that relationship. It’s been exciting to see AutoNation grow within the sport, and to see them now welcome Alexander to their family is just great.”
Amazingly, 2020 will be the fifth season for Rossi in the NTT IndyCar Series. As a rookie, Rossi burst onto the scene with an unpredictable victory at the 100th Indianapolis 500, later adding wins at other historic tracks such as Watkins Glen, Long Beach, Mid-Ohio, Pocono and Road America.
The continuity and no-nonsense nature of sticking with the team that first invested in him seemed to make a difference to Rossi.
“It feels good to continue with Andretti Autosport,” said Rossi. “Over the past four years, we’ve built a very strong team with great chemistry and I believe that we have the tools necessary to win races and championships. I’m looking forward to not just calling this my team, but my home in the IndyCar Series.
“Michael (Andretti), J-F (Thormann), Doug (Bresnahan) and the entire team have been working very hard to put all the pieces of this deal together and it’s definitely a relief to have the future settled and be able to focus on the championship fight ahead of us.”
On Sunday, Rossi will start second alongside Will Power on the front row for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Trailing championship leader Josef Newgarden by 29 points, the Andretti Autosport driver will be looking for a repeat victory at Mid-O to tighten the gap once again.
Header image by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR.