Alexander Rossi has signed a new contract to remain with Andretti Autosport in the NTT IndyCar Series for the next few years. After much speculation, which included a potential move to Andretti’s rivals Team Penske, Rossi has signed a multi-year extension to his contract and will remain in the cockpit of the #27 Honda with continuing sponsorship from NAPA AUTO PARTS and AutoNation.
Much of the speculation regarding the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series driver line-up centered around where Alexander Rossi would end up. Having raced with Andretti since making his IndyCar debut in 2016, Rossi’s contract was known to be expiring at the end of this 2019 season. That, coupled with his superb performances over the last few years that have seen the Californian challenge for the championship as well as secure a historic win at the Indianapolis 500 in his first attempt, led to speculation that he could look to move to the giants that are Team Penske. This was backed up by the fact that Rossi already has ties to Penske, as he races for the team part-time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in their Acura DPi.
However, today’s announcement of Rossi’s contract extension with Andretti Autosport has ended that speculation. In the announcement today, Rossi stated that he was “looking forward” to continuing to challenge for race wins and titles in the future with Andretti Autosport and his associated sponsors.
“It feels good to continue with Andretti Autosport,” Rossi said today. “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.
“It’s fantastic to have NAPA AUTO PARTS, AutoNation and Honda supporting the #27 program. I’ve had the pleasure of developing a great relationship with both NAPA and Honda and couldn’t imagine not having them in my corner. AutoNation has always had a strong partnership with the team through Ryan [Hunter-Reay] and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to represent the Drive Pink campaign and getting to know the AutoNation team better.”
Team owner, Michael Andretti also expressed his pleasure with today’s contract announcement for Rossi. Perhaps just as important as retaining Rossi was the fact that the team’s key sponsors, NAPA AUTO PARTS and AutoNation, will also be remaining as a part of the team for the foreseeable future.
“We’ve been working hard on this, and I’m happy to see everything come together,” Andretti said. “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 effort 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.”
With all of the distractions surrounding contract speculation now out of the way, Rossi will now be fully focused on his championship challenge in the remaining five races of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series.
The next race of the championship, the 2019 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will take place tomorrow, Sunday, July 28, with qualifying due to take place later this evening. Rossi will be endeavouring to take his second-straight win at Mid-Ohio to cut the gap between himself and championship-leader, Josef Newgarden.