Rossi replaces Rahal for Team Penske endurance races

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Alexander Rossi has replaced fellow IndyCar driver Graham Rahal at Acura Team Penske for the IMSA sports car endurance events.

Rossi will share the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi with fulltime Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.

Rahal had been the co-driver for those events last season but said on social media Friday he’s too big to properly fit in the car. Rahal is listed at 6-foot-2 and posted a post-workout photo last month acknowledging he’s the tallest active driver in IndyCar and was “determined not to be the fattest too.”

Rossi is a former Indianapolis 500 winner who has slowly been expanding his schedule beyond IndyCar. The American won karting championships and the Formula BMW World title as a teenager, pursued Formula One in Europe, and migrated to IndyCar in 2016.

Simon Pagenaud returns to the Penske sports car program for a second season as the additional driver in the endurance races alongside regulars Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron.