Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Time for Marco Andretti to Make It on His Own

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Time for Marco Andretti to Make It on His Own

Article excerpt

Marco Andretti needs to split with his family. Nothing personal. Just business.

If he's ever going to break what seems to be the family curse of not winning the Indianapolis 500 since his grandfather Mario won it in 1969, he must break with his father Michael and join another race team.

Again, nothing personal. Just business.

Watching him talk to reporters after Sunday's Indianapolis 500 - in which he finished third with a car that wasn't nearly as fast as the one driven by winner and teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay - you could have wiped Marco's frustration off the floor. He was dripping in it.

"I think if it wasn't for the Indy 500, I would be pretty mad at Ryan," he said, apparently referring to Hunter-Reay's passing him for the lead between Turns 3 and 4 on Lap 183, with Andretti indicating Hunter-Reay nearly sent him into the wall. "But it is for the Indy 500. He's up there and I'm not, so what are you going to say?"

Marco Andretti's car was fast. But it wasn't nearly fast enough to stay up with Hunter-Reay and eventual second-place finisher Helio Castroneves.

The dynamics of an auto racing team are simple: The owner spends more of his precious resources on the driver who has the best chance of winning. Maybe not much more than the other driver or drivers on the team, but definitely more.

Again, nothing personal. Just business.

But in this case, there's also a family dynamic involved.

There's a powerful bond between Marco and Michael. It was the same when Michael was driving with and for his father, Mario. But this time, I think, Michael knew Hunter-Reay had a real shot at winning the Indianapolis 500.

Don't fault Michael. Although he never won this race as a driver, he now has been the car owner for three drivers who have won it (the others were Dan Wheldon in 2005 and Dario Franchitti in 2007). So he knows how to set up a car for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Marco hasn't done too badly himself. …

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