Alexander Rossi hopes that IndyCar will take a look at its protocols regarding lapped traffic at the end of the season after spending Saturday evening in Texas trapped among cars that were not fighting him for position.
The Andretti Autosport driver opted for a long first stint, but the advantages were offset when he caught the back end of the field and found few willing to do him any favors, regardless of respective track positions.
“We went into it with the strategy of, we need to go later than everyone else, that will pay benefits,” he said. “I’ll tell you what, lapped cars is a big issue. I know the rule book states what it states. I don’t know if that’s the right thing or the wrong thing.
“When you have cars that are a lap down, you’re racing for position, they do nothing to help you, even if they’re a lap down to the whole field. It’s something that we talk about in drivers meetings all the time. It’s probably an off-season topic that we all need to discuss.
“I don’t think that cars that are a lap down… I don’t think there’s any other series that allows them to still race. It’s frustrating. I think that’s what hurt us by going long. We caught the tail end of the field. Despite the fact we still had great tire life, plenty of fuel, a good pace, I couldn’t get around cars that were a lap down.”
Rossi ultimately finished third after a late-race battle with Simon Pagenaud, but despite his frustration, he said that the problems with traffic didn’t impact his result.
“That’s the way it goes,” he said. “We finished on the podium, so I don’t think it was a make-or-break. It was confusing, put it that way.