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Mid-Ohio IndyCar: Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi wins

Alexander Rossi executed a perfect two-stop race to take his second IndyCar victory of the season at Mid-Ohio, with the Andretti Autosport driver being the sole exponent of the strategy

From pole position, Rossi led comfortably throughout the opening stint from Penske's Will Power.

While the majority of the field pitted for the first time between laps 15 and 23 of the 90-lap distance, Rossi's intention became clear as he stayed out.

Pitting for the harder black Firestones on at precisely one-third distance, Rossi emerged down in fifth place, just holding onto position after a side-by-side battle with championship leader Scott Dixon.

Schmidt Petersen Motorsport driver Robert Wickens inherited the race lead, having made his first of three stops early.

The Canadian made his own second stop after beginning to lose time 10 laps later, as Power took over the lead of the race during the second stop cycle for the three-stoppers.

After returning to the lead, Rossi held a 20-second advantage over Wickens until his second and final stop for black tyres came exactly two-thirds of the way through the race.

Wickens then dived in from the lead for his third stop six laps later, leaving Rossi to ease to his first win since Long Beach with a 12.8s margin over the SPM driver.

Though Rossi ended up dominant, there was a huge amount of wheel-to-wheel racing in the pack.

Power and Penske team-mate Josef Newgarden nearly crashed into each other after the Indianapolis 500 winner had made a stop for red tyres, but the reigning champion muscled up the inside successfully to take the spot.

By at the end of the next stop cycle, Power had got ahead of the #1 Penske, to take the final spot on the podium, three seconds clear of team-mate Newgarden - who had also dived past Rossi briefly early in the race in traffic but then immediately made his first pitstop.

Five-time Lexington winner Dixon, from ninth on the grid after being caught out by red-flags in qualifying, rose to fifth by the time of the chequered flag.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver never really threatened a podium spot and had his championship lead reduced to 46 points by race winner Rossi.

Star of the race was Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan's Sebastien Bourdais. Having started last following a brake-related accident in qualifying, he charged to sixth, just over a second behind Dixon.

Mirroring Dixon's strategy, Bourdais scythed through the field despite the race featuring no caution periods.

Rossi's Andretti team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay was the big loser, slipping to seventh. The #28 Honda-powered car had started in third place and looked strong at times.

But as most of the other three-stoppers at the head of the field fitted soft red tyres at their final stops, the 2012 champion had blacks fitted and had to settle for fending off Penske's Simon Pagenaud for seventh.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Graham Rahal took the flag in ninth, one place ahead of Ohio state native Zach Veach, who brought the #26 Andretti Dallara-Honda home in 10th.

Following his first appearance of the season in the 'Fast Six' in qualifying, Carlin's Max Chilton endured a frustrating afternoon.

He hit Takuma Sato in the opening laps and picked up a drive-through penalty for spinning the RLLR driver.

Switching strategy, Chilton then suffered a front-left wheel problem that hampered his race and came home 24th and last, two laps down.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 90 1h44m15.2137s
2 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 90 12.8285s
3 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 90 14.7086s
4 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 90 18.0065s
5 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 90 18.9382s
6 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 90 19.5312s
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 90 21.4614s
8 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 90 21.8246s
9 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 90 23.1494s
10 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 90 24.3930s
11 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 90 36.5906s
12 Jordan King Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 90 41.4002s
13 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 90 43.3340s
14 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 90 1m04.0882s
15 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 90 1m07.1156s
16 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 89 1 Lap
17 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 89 1 Lap
18 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 89 1 Lap
19 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 89 1 Lap
20 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 89 1 Lap
21 Rene Binder Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 89 1 Lap
22 Conor Daly Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 88 2 Laps
23 Pietro Fittipaldi Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 88 2 Laps
24 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 88 2 Laps

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Scott Dixon 494
2 Alexander Rossi 448
3 Josef Newgarden 434
4 Will Power 407
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 399
6 Robert Wickens 380
7 Simon Pagenaud 344
8 Graham Rahal 335
9 James Hinchcliffe 328
10 Sebastien Bourdais 293
11 Marco Andretti 285
12 Takuma Sato 258
13 Ed Jones 255
14 Spencer Pigot 239
15 Tony Kanaan 227
16 Charlie Kimball 212
17 Zach Veach 211
18 Matheus Leist 182
19 Max Chilton 162
20 Gabby Chaves 158
21 Ed Carpenter 148
22 Jordan King 126
23 Zachary Claman 122
24 Jack Harvey 63
25 Rene Binder 61
26 Carlos Munoz 53
27 Kyle Kaiser 45
28 Conor Daly 43
29 Helio Castroneves 40
30 J.R. Hildebrand 38
31 Stefan Wilson 31
32 Oriol Servia 27
33 Santino Ferrucci 18
34 Pietro Fittipaldi 14
35 Danica Patrick 13
36 Jay Howard 12
37 Sage Karam 10
37 Alfonso Celis 10
37 James Davison 10

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