“I think he (Marco) is at a point that he can definitely carry the team to a championship. I’m positive of that.” – Mario Andretti
To say that Marco Andretti is off to a good start this year would be a solid statement. Following Detriot, the driver of the No. 25 RC Coca DW12 Chassis for Andretti Autosport sits at the top of the point standings tied with Helio Castroneves for the points lead.
The key to Andretti’s season so far has been consistancy as he has only finished outside of the top seven once this year – last Saturday in Detroit after getting into the wall.
“Consistency is what I’ve worked on in the off season; I just want to be consistently better,” he said earlier today in Texas. “I think we have been knocking on the door and like hanging and lingering around the top six, a couple of podiums.
During the off-season, Andretti spent time with a driver coach to improve his street course performances.
He said that there’s also a new word that’s part of his vocabulary as a driver – finesse.
“I think that was costing me,” he commented. “I think that could have helped me at Indy just be a little more patient. Having looked back at it now I would have probably went for the most laps led, but we were just kind of watching fuel and being more patient than I probably would have been in the past at Indy. That is probably the only difference.”
The change in Andretti’s attitude is noticed by others, including his grandfather Mario.
“You can see obviously that I think he has buckled down and I think focused a little more on somewhat he really needs to work on,” Mario Andretti said. “Again, now of course by having the responsibility to be up there in the points… what they gone six races or so in the series a long way to go for sure, but at least right now he has something to protect and go for. He has got the team behind him and he has the experience now I think to carry it.”
Though even if with the success this year, Andretti says there’s unfinished business as one column remains empty thus far this year.
“I want to start stringing some wins together to hopefully generate even more interest,” he said. “It’s been a decent start to the season, but we’ve got to keep going.”
Andretti added that they need to keep working at their program as he’s not exactly where he wants to be quite yet.
“I think I’m a lot closer at where I was weak last year, so that is helping, but like I said not where I want to be right now,” he commented. “If we come out of here with a win then we could start some big momentum that will be the goal.”
This weekend at Texas Motor Speedway could bring Andretti that win as he led the opening practice session and qualified second behind Will Power.