INDIANAPOLIS – I wrote earlier this week that for some reason the Andretti Autosport group has struggled mightily in the IndyCar Grand Prix. Despite winning two of the last three Indianapolis 500’s, none of the Andretti cars have reached victory lane for the road course race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Furthermore, they have one combined top five finish in the three year history of the race.
Ryan Hunter-Reay came home second in the inaugural year in 2014, but he’s had finishes of 11th and ninth since. Marco Andretti was 14th, 15th and 16th respectively in his three tries, while Alexander Rossi was 10th as a rookie a year ago.
Takuma Sato has made three starts in the race, but all three were with A.J. Foyt Racing. He came home ninth, ninth and 18th respectively.
So, mix that with some really bad luck for the team recently, and it’s easy to see why the four Andretti drivers won’t be among the favorites for Saturday’s race (3:30 p.m. ET/ABC/INDYCAR Radio Network).
In the opening round of practice, none of the four Andretti cars were in the top 10 on the speed chart. Rossi was 11th, Sato 15th, Hunter-Reay 16th and Andretti 21st. In session No. 2 they struggled again.
Rossi, was fourth overall, but the rest were 15th on back again. Sato was 15th, Hunter-Reay 19th and Andretti 20th.
Then, in qualifying, they turned up the wick. Three of the four made it out of the first round, with Hunter-Reay qualifying eighth, Rossi ninth and Andretti 11th. The only one to not make it out was Sato who will start last in 22nd.
Andretti Autosport on Friday:
Sato- 15th, 15th, qualified 22nd
Andretti- 21st, 20th, qualified 11th
Hunter-Reay- 16th, 19th, qualified 8th
Rossi- 11th, 4th, qualified 9th
So, for a race that has rewards starting position, the group may be in good position to get back into the top five.