Alexander Rossi of Nevada City won the Indianapolis classic as a rookie entry starting in the 11th position in the middle of the pack. It was an unbelievably tactical race that brought Rossi across the finish line first while literally running on vapors that he and his team husbanded in the last few laps of the race. Home town boy makes good never delivered a better story than our Alexander Rossi standing milk-drenched in the Brick Yard’s Winner’s Circle. I’m looking forward to cheering him on as he rides down Broad Street to take his well-earned congratulations from all Nevada County residents.
I was introduced to Alexander about ten years ago by his grandfather, my friend, and fellow Rotarian Don Fultz. Early in his career as a budding race car driver Alexander talked to our Rotary Club several times describing the travails that he was going through to become a world class Formula One driver. During those visits I had a chance to chat with him more than once about his progress and the support our Rotary was contributing. He was an impressive young man then, and the years have demonstrated what dedication and training will do. His racing career has now the imprimatur of having his likeness join the 99 previous greats who adorn the giant silver Borg-Warner trophy. And we in these foothills will always be proud to point to him as being one of us, but not as proud as is Grandpa Don smiling down on his grandson.
[30may16 update] Alexander Rossi's career to date has not been a straight line of acknowledged achievements to his Indy victory. In fact, he has of late been on the back burner as a "reserve driver" on other racing teams. To me this aspect of his journey makes his dedication and perseverance an even more significant part of the young man's character. He didn't arrive in the winner's circle on a bed of roses; here is more from Associated Press.