INDYCAR clarified today that the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix concluded under caution due to a single-car incident involving the No. 98 Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Honda driven by Alexander Rossi. Since the incident was not major and took place so close to the end of the race, it was not shown on the NBCSN broadcast.
“The caution at the end of the Phoenix race was a result of the 98 car making contact with the wall coming off the fourth turn,” said Brian Barnhart, INDYCAR vice president of competition, race control. “The incident occurred in front of the leaders and required cars to take evasive action, which made throwing the caution flag imperative.”
The yellow flag for Rossi's incident came out on Lap 248 and caused the 250-lap race at Phoenix International Raceway to conclude with the simultaneous waving of the checkered and yellow flags. Scott Dixon won the race in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
A replay of Rossi's incident that brought out the yellow flag on Lap 248 is below.
“We always do what we can to ensure our events conclude under green conditions,” Barnhart continued. “But safety is INDYCAR’s number one priority and this was a situation where we had no choice but to throw a yellow.”
Some had attributed the yellow to debris on the track from the No. 28 DHL Honda of Ryan Hunter-Reay, whose car brushed the wall exiting Turn 4 on Lap 240. Since the debris was not in the racing line, race control maintained green-flag conditions until Rossi's incident necessitated the late caution.
The next race on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 17. Coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.