BELLE ISLE, MI – What a weekend that its been so far for the entire Andretti Autosport group. In the two Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions on Friday, all four of their drivers were in the top 10 of both sessions. Marco Andretti was fifth in each of the 45-minute long practices on the 2.35-mile Belle Isle street circuit, while Alexander Rossi (4th, 8th), Ryan Hunter-Reay (7th, 1st) and Zach Veach (8th, 10th) joined him up front.
In qualifying on Saturday morning to set the field for the first dual of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix race weekend, three of the five qualified in the top five including Andretti earning his first pole in nearly five years. Rossi and Hunter-Reay started fourth and fifth respectively.
In the race, they had some varying strategies. Andretti and Rossi went for a two stop strategy while Hunter-Reay was on a three stopper. Hunter-Reay first hit pit road on Lap 9 and that helped him gain the lead on Lap 25. He’d have a 7+ second lead before pitting again in Lap 32. Meanwhile, he was able to stay ahead of nearly everyone else and position himself for a solid runner-up finish. Hunter-Reay had three top seven finishes in his first four starts in Detroit but in the nine races after, he had just three top eight finishes. Then, he scored his second top five of the season on a street course.
Rossi, brought his No. 27 Honda home third for his third podium in as many tries on street courses this season. He passed Andretti with a few laps left as Andretti had to settle for a fourth place run in his No. 98 Honda. Andretti, led 20 laps in all and has now finished in the top 10 in all three street events in 2018 too.
While they didn’t win, Andretti put three of their four cars in the top four of the finishing results and also saw Rossi take over the points lead again. All in all, that’s a solid day.