INDIANAPOLIS – Back in the winter, both Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi were on the hit show “The Amazing Race.” The Verizon IndyCar Series duo traveled across the world promoting the series and nearly won in the process. Unfortunately, Daly isn’t a full time driver like he had hoped, so Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/ABC/INDYCAR Radio Network) will be the first race that both drivers will were in the field together. It also happens to be the biggest race in the world too.
Well, as ironic as this sounds, their qualifying draw put them qualifying on Saturday one behind the other. In setting the field on Sunday, they’ll now start next to one another too. In fact, they hold the final two starting spot for the 500 mile race, as Rossi starts 32nd and Daly 33rd.
It’s not like they’re lost in the middle of the field anywhere, it’s actually ironic that they’re starting in the back and next to one another as they’ll stand out more. It’s also ironic they way it worked out because Rossi had a car to contend for 4th Row starting spot. But, his car was a handful on Sunday, hence the starting position that he’s in.
“It was probably the most terrifying four laps I’ve done,” said Rossi after a four-lap average of 224.935 mph. “It was everything (tight or loose). It’s the way it goes sometimes. Honestly it takes a whole hell of a lot of pressure off. You can’t go backwards. We know we have a great race car. We didn’t obviously qualifying there on performance. We just missed the Fast Nine by hundredths yesterday.”
With it being so hard to pass, does Rossi charge at the start? Does he take early advantage of cars that he’s faster than?
“It’s hard to pass when two cars are in front of you, so I don’t think it’s going to be any harder with 31 in front of me. It’s going to be the same whether I’m starting third or 32nd in my mind.
“I will have the best view in the world. I don’t really have a mindset or strategy and have a lot of guys around me that have started in the front and in the back in terms of my team. I can definitely get advice from them and try to implement that from them. At the end of the day, I certainly won’t win the race on Lap 1 so hopefully I can just capitalize on peoples mistakes.”