Every driver loves the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Rossi has one of the greatest victories at the track, when he won the 2016 Indy 500 as a rookie. The Andretti Autosport driver racked up six more wins over the next few years, and was seemingly on his way to a championship. He hit a snag in 2019, which resulted in a 49-race winless drought. That finally came to an end today at the venue where he won his first race.

“Relief, I think is the main word,” Rossi said after leading 44 laps. “We've had some race wins that we've thrown away for sure, and we've had some weekends where we've just kind of not had the pace. We knew things were trending in the right direction. The one constant has been the mental strength of the whole team. It’s a big team win and a big thank you to the organization.”

"The one constant has been the mental strength of the whole team," Rossi said. "As challenging as it is for me, it's also hard for them. They go in every day and work their butts off, and when they don't get results, it's hard for them, as well. As a unit, that's one of our strengths, being able to continue to just push forward."

"It's human nature to start to question things when it continually doesn't kind of fall your way. You just have to remember that you've done it before, you can do it again, type of thing. It's nice to reestablish that, and this sport is so much about you're as good as your last race, it doesn't matter who you are. You have to go out there every weekend and kind of re-prove yourself."

2022 Gallagher Grand Prix - Race Results
Pos Driver Team Engine
1Alexander RossiAndretti AutosportHonda
2Christian LundgaardRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
3Will PowerTeam PenskeChevrolet
4Scott McLaughlinTeam PenskeChevrolet
5Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeChevrolet
6Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
7Graham RahalRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
8Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingHonda
9Felix RosenqvistArrow McLaren SPChevrolet
10Alex PalouChip Ganassi RacingHonda
11Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi RacingHonda
12Pato O'WardArrow McLaren SPChevrolet
13David MalukasDale Coyne w/ HMD MotosportsHonda
14Callum IlottJuncos Hollinger RacingChevrolet
15Takuma SatoDale Coyne w/ Rick Ware RacingHonda
16Romain GrosjeanAndretti AutosportHonda
17Conor DalyEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
18Devlin DeFrancescoAndretti AutosportHonda
19Helio CastronevesMeyer Shank RacingHonda
20Jack HarveyRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
21Dalton KellettAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet
22Jimmie JohnsonChip Ganassi RacingHonda
23Kyle KirkwoodAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet
24Colton HertaAndretti AutosportHonda
25Simon PagenaudMeyer Shank RacingHonda

Rossi's run to the top spot made for an awkward celebration. Two months ago, Rossi and the team agreed to part ways, and the 30-year old will be joining the Arrow McLaren SP organization in 2023. While next season is something he continues to look forward to, Rossi has always insisted that he and the team are going to try just as hard to get back to victory lane.

That finally happened, but it was at the expense of his teammate Colton Herta. With the race firmly in hand, Herta's No. 26 Honda suffered a transmission problem while leading the race on Lap 42. He led 17 laps today, but after that issue his day was done. It was another gut check to the young driver that won on this circuit back in May.

It certainly made for a bittersweet day for the Andretti team. The good news is that after being winless on the IMS road course through the first 11 races, the organization swept both of the races here this season.

Christian Lundgaard also has some fond memories of this track. The rookie made his series debut here last year, and quickly turned heads with his performance. Today he continued the upward trajectory for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, scoring a career-best 2nd place finish.

"At the end of the third stint, I was catching Alex," Lundgaard said. "I was really hoping because every pit stop we always caught up. We lost a bit in the beginning of the stint. The Andretti car had just so much better power down than we did today. That’s what killed our rear tires, and we struggled on the long run. The result speaks for itself. Coming in this weekend, we knew we had a strong car. I think the team deserves every bit of this."

Will Power has been the dominant driver on this circuit, and added another podium finish to his resume today. By doing so, the Team Penske driver took over the lead in the championship by nine points with just four races remaining.

“A great recovery, man,” Power exclaimed. “You can never expect a normal day in IndyCar. Everyone is very aggressive, and it’s so hard to win in this series. It’s the toughest series in the world. Great job by the Verizon 5G guys. It’s amazing we can go back there and recover all the way to third. The goal from the very beginning was to play the long game, and we're doing that. You just have to do what you know, and I know this game so well.”

Although they didn't come away with the win, it was still a great weekend for Penske. All three cars finished inside the top-five with Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden following their teammate across the finish line at the yard of bricks.

Former IMS road course race winner Rinus VeeKay delivered another top-six finish for Ed Carpenter Racing. Graham Rahal finished 7th, improving ten positions from where he started. That is something he has made a habit of, improving 85 positions over the last 11 races here.

Scott Dixon had another frustrating qualifying session, just as he did in May. He started 21st in that race and 20th today. In typical Dixon fashion though, he finished inside the top-ten in both events. Pole sitter Felix Rosenqvist didn't have the day that he and the team expected, and finished in 9th. Reigning series champion Alex Palou rounded out the top ten.

Marcus Ericsson may have lost the championship lead, but he had a solid afternoon after having to start last on the grid. The 2022 Indy 500 winner drove a clean race and carved his way through the field to finish 11th.

"We were strong out there and had a good strategy going long on that first stint," Ericsson said. "Unfortunately, that yellow came and it was very badly timed for us. So that advantage we would have had for the second half of the race sort of got away from us. We thought maybe top seven or top eight would have been possible if it would have stayed green, but that’s racing. Still, moving up from 25th is something to be happy about. We’re still very much in the mix for the championship."

Pato O'Ward went the opposite direction, after getting spun on the opening lap from his 3rd place starting position. The Mexican driver remains in the thick of the title hunt, despite the disappointing day.

"What looked to be like it was going to be a good day, turned out to be really tough for both cars," Pato said. "I got hit during the start which damaged the car and I kind of had to nurse it until the end. We basically went all the way to last place and had to shift strategy-wise."

Romain Grosjean and Conor Daly each had another frustrating afternoon, with more issues on pit road. The two finished 16th and 17th today. Simon Pagenaud has a solid track record on the road course, but the two-time winner here ran out of fuel on Lap 36 and was unable to continue, finishing 25th.

With the third race at IMS in the rear view mirror, the series will have a short breather before the next event on the calendar. That will come on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee. Coverage of Sunday’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix begins at 3 PM ET on NBC.