INDIANAPOLIS – The dreaded Andretti Curse at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway must go beyond the Indianapolis 500. It seems like Marco Andretti is snake bitten in not just the ‘500 but the Grand Prix too.
Andretti, blew an engine just two laps into the Verizon IndyCar Series warm up session on Saturday morning. While the team was able to change their engine and not lose his 14th place starting spot, it didn’t necessarily mean his No. 98 Honda was going to have an advantage.
Andretti, finished 13th on Saturday, his worst finish of the season. Technically, it shows that he was a +1 in positions gained in the race, but his race was just miserable. He knew heading into the race that he had no shot to win. I mean no shot. He made that clear after the race. See, the third generation driver said that it took a while to get his engine switched out, meaning that they couldn’t make any changes to the mechanical portion of the car to match the new power. He said that he had to just salvage the race as a result.
“After an issue in warmup this morning, we had to bring in a new engine – so we started the race on a fresh one, which meant we literally went to the back, just waiting for the engine to get run in,” said a disappointed Andretti. “With the lost time on the engine change before the race, there were some other car changes we weren’t able to make, so we were stuck with a mechanical change that we knew wasn’t going to be good all day. We just sort of hung in there and did what we could to get through the day. It was more of a salvage than anything, but a big thanks to the U.S. Concrete boys for hanging in there.”
His Andretti Autosport teammate of Ryan Hunter-Reay saw the engine of his No. 28 Honda have some problems too. He was running well inside of the top 10 before an electrical problem halted any progress.
“It was a rough day,” Hunter-Reay said following his 18th place run. “We were running seventh and eighth and then we had an electrical issue that caused a misfire. It cut power on the bottom and top ends. We tried a couple on-track fixes, but they didn’t work and a fix in the pits would have taken too long. So, we were running all day about half of the horsepower and had to save fuel. It was pretty much a full nightmare scenario and certainly not what we hoped for today. The DHL team did a good job toughing it out during a very frustrating race, and we’re all looking forward to getting onto the oval Tuesday.”
The duo are now ninth and 10th respectively in the standings heading into the May 27 Indianapolis 500. It’s certainly no where close to where they should be had they had any kind of good luck.