There’s no question that the Andretti name is one of the most iconic last names in Motorsports. It started with the first generation, Mario, a former Formula One World Champion, Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 winner. Then, second generation star Michael Andretti, who won his fair share of IndyCar races and championships, but never broke through as a driver at Indianapolis. Then comes young Marco, who has added pressure like a Chase Elliott or Dale Earnhardt Jr., because of what his grandfather and father both accomplished on the IndyCar scene; and some have said he hasn’t lived up to those expectations.
With two career Verizon IndyCar series wins, one as a rookie in 2006 and the another in 2011, Marco has started his engine 183 times in IndyCar and has only finished on the podium on 20 occasions. In 2006, he was leading on the final lap of the Indianapolis 500, when Sam Hornish Jr. ran him down and beat Andretti in the second closest finish at the Speedway. Marco has admitted in recent seasons his main focus has been to break the “Andretti Curse” at IMS and break through with a victory, and that has taken his focus away from the rest of the season.
In 2016, Andretti didn’t lead a single IndyCar seires lap, didn’t finish on the podium and didn’t score a pole. He ended up finishing 16th in series points standings and had an average finish of 12.8. All of those were either career low stats or close to career lows.
We’ve all seen the talent that Marco Andretti has and he will be in one of the fastest careers in the series. In 2017, Marco Andretti will be a threat to win races again and maybe, just maybe, could break the Andretti Curse at Indianapolis.