With the Indianapolis 500 fast approaching Sunday, last year’s winner Alexander Rossi has enjoyed his time at the Brickyard this week as the returning champion.

Rossi joined The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday on CBS Sports Radio and said the reaction he’s received from competitors and fans this year has been pretty cool.

“A lot more people are paying attention to what I’m doing, that’s for sure. So I guess that’s good and bad, as long as I’m doing a good job,” Rossi said. “Yeah, it’s very special, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a special place in and of itself, but to come back the reigning winner and looking to defend that has been a pretty cool experience and looking forward to the race this weekend.”

Having had the taste of victory as a 24-year-old rookie last season, Rossi admitted he enjoyed the perks that came along with the win and wants to drink the traditional milk again in the winner’s circle even more now.

“The amazing experience that goes on for an entire year afterwards, that you just don’t want anyone else to have it,” Rossi said. “The opportunities present themselves that probably wouldn’t have otherwise, and you definitely just want to be able to keep doing it and not let anyone else experience the kind of fruits that come with it.”

Rossi’s focused on Sunday’s race, but aware that Helio Castroneves is the last driver to win back-to-back Indy 500’s.

“You’re only as good as your last race, so we have to come back this year and prove it again,” Rossi said. “Helio went back-to-back in 2001 and 2002, so there’s every possibility of doing it, and that’s our sole intention. We’ve been strong this month so far, and we have a good car. So, as long as we execute well on Sunday and a couple things fall our way, I think we will have a pretty good shot at it.”


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