ELKHART LAKE, WI – Marco Andretti feels like this could be the weekend that his No. 27 Honda team can join his teammates up front. 2016 has been a downright struggle for the third generation driver, as he’s had about any kind of bad luck anyone can get. In a world where people look at finishes and not why that finish was where it was at, Andretti’s driving abilities are being questioned.
He hears you.
Unfortunately, it shouldn’t be that way.
Andretti is a heck of a talent and rightfully has earned the right to be here. If not for bad luck, he’d be up there with his teammates challenging for wins. He had a good car at Indy but the team put the tires on the wrong side of his car during a midrace pit stop.
At Belle Isle, he had bad luck in both races, ending what could have been two top five efforts.
The list goes on and on.
To add to that frustration, he is watching three other teammates thrive under the team name of his family, but him struggle. Andretti Autosport has combined to lead 93 laps this year and also has a combined 10 top 10 finishes.
Andretti hasn’t contributed to that total in the laps led category, and has only one top 10 a ninth as that came in the last race at Belle Isle. In fact, that top 10 was his first top 10 since a 10th place effort at Mid-Ohio almost a year ago.
Furthermore, Andretti hasn’t scored a top five finish since a third place effort at Fontana a year ago this weekend.
Despite all of that, Andretti is confident this is his weekend. This could be the time that all of those struggles and questions about him come to an end.
He was in the top five on the speed charts in the test here last week and he backed that up with being sixth and 12th quickest respectively in the two practice sessions on Friday afternoon from the Road America circuit.
Andretti knows that the speed is in his No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda this weekend and he also knows the ability is with him. It’s just time for all of it to come together and give the 29-year old a chance for a change.
If so, watch out, because he’s due for a win and ready to make his splash.
I think it happens this weekend and a top five would certainly silence the doubters. Then, the next race is the site of his last win in 2011 at Iowa. This could be the time Marco can make up a lot of ground.
That’s how much is riding on this weekend.