It took former Formula One driver Alexander Rossi less than 40 starts to complete the unofficial Verizon IndyCar Series racetrack trifecta.
Rossi’s breakthrough win at the storied 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May 2016 was followed more than a year later by his standout victory at Watkins Glen International in 2017.
This year, just three races was all the Andretti Autosport pilot needed to find victory lane, with his dominant Long Beach triumph checking the box on his resume of the third and final IndyCar track type: a temporary street circuit.
Even more remarkable is the prominent nature of the venues where Rossi’s three initial victories in North American open-wheel competition have come. Perhaps the background of Watkins Glen and Long Beach pale in comparison to the centurylong history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but each of the three circuits exist as cornerstones of the sport.
“I realized that when I was told on the podium that that was the case, and that’s pretty spectacular,” Rossi told the media after winning this year’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. “I certainly hope I haven’t peaked too early with those three.”
Earlier in his foray into IndyCar, Rossi was commonly criticized for not jumping head first into the series and keeping Formula One in mind as the eventual home for his talent. Now contesting his third full season in the cockpit of an Indy car and with victories at the two most major races on the current calendar, Rossi’s commitment has lately gone unquestioned.
“I don’t really have anything more to say than it’s kind of hard to believe and hard to understand, and it’s something that will definitely take a lot of time to appreciate — but we don’t have that much time to appreciate it because this series just likes to keep us going,” Rossi continued.
“We’re on track here in another four or five days, and you’re only as good as your last time on track, so we’ll have to go re-prove ourselves again on Friday.”
Rossi will manage the quick turnaround from Long Beach to the fourth round of the 2018 season at the Barber Motorsports Park this coming weekend after earning the maximum possible amount of points in Southern California as the pole sitter, leader of the most laps and first driver to speed under the checkered flag.