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Tuesday June 25th, 2019 12:24AM

The Latest: Rossi returns to pits after taking early hit

By The Associated Press
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (all times local):

4 p.m.

American Alexander Rossi suffered damage to his car as the green flag waved to start Saturday's IndyCar Grand Prix.

Following a steward's review, rookie Patricio O'Ward was assessed a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact in the front straightaway. Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner and the winner of IndyCar's most recent race, on April 14 in Long Beach, was forced to return to the pits.

He started the day second in the points chase.

It was another setback for Michael Andretti's four-car team, which struggled in qualifying Friday.

Drivers faced another obstacle when rain started falling on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course just before Hulman & Co. chairman of the board Tony Hulman gave the starting command for Saturday's race.

Rookie Felix Rosenqvist of Sweden started from the pole and led the first four laps — the first laps he led since the season opener at St. Petersburg.

___

12:25 p.m.

American Colton Herta posted the fastest lap in the final warmup session for Saturday's IndyCar Grand Prix.

The 19-year-old rookie completed the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in 1 minute, 9.2003 seconds. He'll start fourth in the race at Indianapolis.

Five-time series champion Scott Dixon was second at 1:09.5805 after qualifying second on Friday. Japanese driver Takuma Sato was third at 1:09.6791. Sato won the 2017 Indianapolis 500 on the track's historic 2.5-mile oval.

Pole winner Felix Rosenqvist finished eighth with a time of 1:10.1267. The Swedish driver is the first rookie to win a pole this season and will start next to his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Dixon of New Zealand, on the front row of the 24-car starting grid.

Andretti Autosport fared much better than it did on Friday, when none of its four drivers qualified in the top 15. On Saturday, all four drivers posted laps in the top 12, with Marco Andretti topping the pack in sixth at 1:10.0124.

Meanwhile, Team Penske, which has won the last four road-course races at Indy, continued to struggle. American Josef Newgarden posted the best lap in the four-car group at 1:10.0682. Defending champion Will Power was 13th at 1:10.2422. The Australian will start sixth.

The final practice was held with sunshine warming the track, but with rain in the forecast later Saturday, the track conditions could be dramatically different when the race starts.

___

More AP IndyCar: https://apnews.com/IndyCar and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, Indy Car Racing
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