"It would've been a fairytale to finish that one out, but sometimes it's not meant to be". "And Friday I was really happy with the vehicle". Wickens said IndyCar's pace vehicle did not follow the same procedure it had used on the previous restart, and Wickens wasn't able to get the jump he wanted on Rossi. Although he was one of seven rookies in the 24-car field Sunday, he is 28 and a proven victor. Another fast rookie was Canadian Robert Wickens in the second Schmidt Peterson livery. Wickens went off course, Rossi slid back to third and Bourdais sailed by for the 37th victory of his career.
Instead, two late cautions gave Rossi a chance to take it away. With just a handful of laps remaining, Rossi enjoyed a good run on Wickens down to Turn 1, enticing him to dive up the inside of the Brit, but the Andretti driver lost his rear end and wiped out his rival on the spot.
After all, at 38 years old then, he's been racing in open-wheel Indy cars for almost two decades.
The American, who recently appeared on the reality TV show "The Amazing Race", said he not spoken to Wickens but imagined that Wickens was upset with him. It's been pretty hard for myself in some ways, obviously, but more for people around me and certain people, for my wife. But there's no reason why I can't pop and stay next to him.
However, this past weekend, in qualifying Bourdais was caught out by a red flag and then had insufficient time and track space to improve his pace, and he wound up starting 16 out of 24 cars.
BC-CAR-IndyCar-St Pete, 4th Ld-Writethru, 1075 Bourdais completes comeback with win on his home streetsAP Photo SPANFLJB104, FLJB106, FLJB105, FLJB104, FLJB103, FLJB101, FLJB109, FLJB102Eds: Updates with new lead, additional quotes and details.
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Bourdais acknowledged that his tears came from the realization of how far he has come since May, when he suffered several fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip when he crashed during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. Bourdais said. "I really try not to leave any room for uncertainty as far as what I was going to do and how forward I was going to go by coming back a year ago, 2½ months later".
"This is emotional because I was able from a few broken bones to come back in this victory circle", said Bourdais, who lives in St. Petersburg near where the 1.8-mile temporary street course is constructed each year. The other overcame controversy to finish third.
"He defended the position, which he has the right to do, but in doing so, in moving the reaction, he put me into the marbles pretty late into the corner", Rossi said.
"I guess I'm glad I did continue!" "They both wanted it really bad, and I have no idea whose fault it (their collision) is or if it's just a racing thing. I don't have to be all four wheels in the part of the track that nobody goes on".
"Sebastien said the mayor is going to name a street after him now because he's won two in a row", Coyne said. Race control didn't hesitate to hand out penalties to Marco Andretti and teammate Alexander Rossi, costing the latter a shot at the pole as he was among the original fast six drivers.
Wickens said he wanted to speak to series officials because he said the pace auto procedure differed on the final restart from the previous one and that he didn't feel he was in control of the field.
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When IndyCar debuted aero kits in 2015, the debut race at St. Pete was a shocking mess of broken parts and pieces that flew off cars at any contact. Sunday saw a race-record 366 on-track passes, breaking the mark of 323 set in 2008. He restarted the race 21st.
The slot was, indeed, not very clean.
The incident took Wickens out of the race and slowed Rossi enough that Bourdais moved into the lead and Rahal into second. After the Power spin, Tony Kanaan spun in an incident with Zach Veach that was reviewed.
James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five.
The dizzying conclusion to the season opener left Bourdais atop the podium and the point standings after the first of 17 races, with Rahal in second place, 11 points behind. The Brazilian joked his command might be directed only at the Penske drivers to start their engines.
Many rookie drivers come into IndyCar with hype, but few live up to it.
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Coyne then added a bit more levity to the post-race party shortly after Bourdais said he was 39 years old.