Nevada City Native Wins Indy 500; Alexander Rossi’s Mom Shares Her Excitement

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NEVADA CITY -- "It was just holding my breath and going, 'God. Please let him, you know, get across the finish line,'" said Dawn Rossi.

And get across the finish line he did. Alexander Rossi, at 24 years old and never having run Indy before, signed his name to the biggest surprise victory in the history of that race.

"It never surprises me when he does something like this," his mother Dawn Rossi said.

Rossi's mom Dawn watched from the young phenom's hometown, Nevada City.

"I was by myself at home. If I can't be at the track, I can't be anywhere. I just need to not put on a smiley face," she said.

Dawn said he had the TV, iPad and phone going -- one with the race, one with the scoring and one on social media.

What she saw to end the race was a gusty fuel strategy that had Rossi skipping a last refuel to stay ahead of everybody else.

"Like... Can he actually make it? And then I knew with two laps to go, they were going for it," Dawn Rossi said.

But how long could he keep going? Would it be enough?

"And then the mother part of me is going, 'What am going to say to him if after this whole day and everything he did, he ends up coming last because he ran out of gas?'" she said.

But the race to that checkered flag started well before the 500 mile laps at Indy. Alexander Rossi started driving fast when he was 10 and never wanted anything else.

"Alexander had a dream," his mom said.

It meant every weekend at the track, every day with a personal trainer, and it meant his parents pouring everything they could into his racing career.

"He would not have had the opportunity to do this amazing thing today had it not been for the support of this community. There have been members of this community that have been with us financially for years," she said,

And for Dawn Rossi, being with her son, being at the track, is the only thing that could have made this any better.

"Tears just started streaming down my face. I was so happy for him. So proud of him. Although not proud because he won -- proud because of who he is as a person," she said.