Edwards admitted on Monday evening he was still feeling “pretty sore” about the general underperformance of Andretti Autosport-Honda in the 104th running of the iconic race, especially after looking so strong in qualifying.
In particular he was unhappy with IndyCar’s punishment for the team’s leading runner on the day, Rossi, which saw him sent to the back of the pack for an unsafe release on pitroad.
Rossi, who had started the race from ninth on the grid, rose to second just before quarter distance and at half distance he started exchanging the lead back and forth with Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda. The pair were working together, taking it in turns to run second and save fuel in each other’s slipstream, while still easing away from their nearest pursuers – first the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet of Pato O’Ward and then eventual winner Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda.
However on Lap 122 the field came under caution for Alex Palou’s crash, and once pitlane opened on Lap 124, a total of 23 cars hit pitlane. Rossi emerged from his pitbox into the path of Sato – who was pitted two boxes behind Rossi – and the pair made contact. IndyCar Race Control punished the Andretti Autosport #27 team for an unsafe release, and decreed he should restart the race from the…