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IndyCar Indy 500

Marco Andretti: I have a “race-winning” Indy 500 car if I can get to the front

Marco Andretti believes he has a “race-winning car” if he can get to the front of the field in the Indianapolis 500 field from 24th on the starting grid.

Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda with Mario Andretti

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

In his previous 17 starts in the Indy 500, Marco has finished runner-up in the second-closest finish in history (0.0635s to Sam Hornish on his debut in 2006) and placed third on three occasions.

But if he’s to add a second Andretti family victory in America’s premier open-wheel race, he’s going to have to charge through the field on Sunday.

“Our race car is good, but we wrung it out of speed in qualifying, so we’re a little underwhelmed with our track position for the start,” he admitted. “We have a fight on our hands, but we have a car to stay at the front – if I can get there. But we’re ready to do it.

“I was bummed that we were slow for the third year in a row [this will be his third start outside the top 20 on the grid, after taking a majestic pole in 2020] but we have a race-winning car if we can get there. But it’s going to be a long day trying to get to the front.

“Balance used to mean more than it does today, track position is a big thing now, because it’s hard to make hay when you’re buried in the pack.”

Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda

Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Reigning SRX stock car champion Andretti, 36, has finished outside the top 10 in his last five starts at Indy, as the race has become his only open-wheel event with the Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian squad.

But the third-generation driver still dreams of Indy 500 victory, to emulate that of his grandfather Mario in 1969, while father Michael came agonizingly close on multiple occasions too.

“It would mean the world, it’s what I prioritized when I downscaled my schedule to this being number one,’ he added. “It’s my 18th year here, and I really just want to start the race now.

“I try to embrace all the stuff that used to overwhelm me back in the day. Now, when I walk out of Gasoline Alley on race day, I just take all the magnitude of the event in.”

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