PORTLAND, Ore – I’ve written about this before and the streak unfortunately continues on. It’s been 124 races since Marco Andretti last visited victory lane in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He’s had some close calls since, but ever since that night at the Iowa Speedway in 2011, he hasn’t been back. But, as we’ve now been through four separate sessions around the Portland International Raceway this weekend, it appears that this may be Andretti’s shot at ending that drought.
Andretti, had his No. 98 Honda second and fourth respectively in the two long test sessions around the 1.964-mile road course on Thursday. On Friday, there were two more practice sessions around Portland and Andretti was once again fast.
He was fourth and second respectively, again.
Andretti, hasn’t scored a top five finish since his fourth place run in Belle Isle in early June. That’s his only top five finish since Toronto last year. It’s not like he’s been all that bad though. His only crutch has been in qualifying. See, INDYCAR races have had few caution flags in their races lately. This season, 90-percent of the races have been run in green flag conditions. That means if you don’t qualify well, you’re not going to have much of a shot to finish well.
Andretti, has three top 10 qualifying positions all season. 8 of his 15 starts have come from Row 7 or worse. It’s not a coincidence that his best finish in 2018 came off of his best qualifying effort, a pole.
The third generation driver has made past starts on the road course before in another series, so why not make a run on Sunday towards victory.