Since 2003, Andretti Autosport has been competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series and since, they have three championships, two Indianapolis 500 victories and 36 wins. The problem was none of that success came recently – till last Saturday.
Last Saturday, Marco Andretti won the Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer at Iowa Speedway on June 25th, 0.7932 seconds over Tony Kanaan.
“It was a big win for us for sure,” team owner Michael Andretti said. “I think a lot of people were really pounding on us and thought we were down and out, but I can tell you this team has got tons of fight in it and we are never out.”
Back in 2007 with Dario Franchitti, the team won the Indianapolis 500 and the championship and in their first four season, had a total of four victories. Though since then, they had yet to find that type of success.
This year has been a different story as they won earlier this season with Mike Conway and now with Andretti.
“I’m happy for all the Venom guys; they did a great job,” Michael Andretti continued. “The last pit stop they brought him out P1. They did it when we needed it. It was just really truly a team effort, and Marco drove a hell of a race there in the end. He was beating the best. He had Tony out there, he had Dario, (Scott) Dixon and he drove very well there in the end.
“I’m just so happy and relieved for (Marco). There’s been a huge monkey on his back, and it was on mine, as well. There was just a lot of pressure on us, him as a driver, me as an owner, because of some of the past things that happened at Indy and stuff. So to come back and win like this, it was just a great, great day.”
Nine races into the year, Andretti Autosports’ four drivers Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Conway and Andretti have scored four top-fives and 12 top-10 finishes. While Andretti won the Iowa race, Patrick posted her third consecutive top 10 after starting on the front row while Hunter-Reay finished eighth.
Meanwhile, for Andretti, the win marked Andretti’s first win since Infineon Raceway in 2006 (stretching 78-races).
“We’ve been in a position to win a lot of races and we’ve come up short,” Andretti said. “I never doubted the team, never doubted myself. I always said as soon as the stars were aligned and a little bit of luck goes my way that we’d be sitting here.
“I think it’s just the drought, so to speak, just made me appreciate what we have here in IndyCar racing. From the drivers to the teams, it just makes us appreciate being here that much more because we know we beat those guys. The competition is unbelievable.”