Watkins Glen, NY – The dominoes that Michael Andretti knocked off his desk earlier this week in a promotional video for announcing that his team Andretti Autosport will remain with Honda for the foreseeable future must have fallen pretty quickly. First, we learned Andretti would be staying with the manufacturer that they joined in 2014. Secondly, we learned that Takuma Sato would be leaving the team to join Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing next season.
Then, we learned Alexander Rossi would now be staying with the team after all. Not only would he be staying, he signed a multi-year deal. As did NAPA who will remain with Andretti for 10 races in 2018.
The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner nearly signed with another team, as sources said just last week that he was pretty far along with signing with another Honda organization.
See, Rossi was a Honda driver and wanted to remain with that manufacturer. When Andretti was weighing his options to possibly move to Chevrolet power in 2018, Rossi was left searching elsewhere just in case.
With Andretti finally reaching a deal last weekend at Gateway to stay with Honda, he approached both Rossi and Sato. One already had another deal, the other was close.
Luckily, Andretti was able to keep one of their two recent ‘500 winners, as Rossi will remain with the team.
He had just two top fives in his rookie season in 2016 and six top 10’s. This year, he already has four and nine respectively, including four straight top six finishes heading to Watkins Glen this weekend.
Now, Andretti has just one more seat to fill for 2018.