Every lap completed is top result starting point
Marco Andretti is the only Verizon IndyCar Series driver this season to complete every lap of all 12 races. That’s 1,557 laps without a mechanical failure, issues with the Honda engines or on-track incident.
Cumulatively, it represents opportunities for the Andretti Autosport driver to deliver results.
Since finishing sixth in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Andretti has reeled off four top fives in past six races. He placed eighth July 12 in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers.
“I attribute the consistency, really maximizing what we have, to the 27 team in general,” he said. “My dad (Michael Andretti) is calling awesome races, everybody on the timing stand is doing a great job, the guys are flawless in the pits, my engineer (Nathan O’Rourke) is a rock star. I’m really pleased with the 27 side.
“It’s putting yourself in good positions, knowing when to go for it and when to not. That comes with experience.
“I’m pleased with my driving. I think we’re very close to being a championship caliber. We just need to button up our deficits elsewhere and we’ll be extremely strong, especially when Honda comes back stronger next year the 27 is going to be the one to watch.”
Andretti, and teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz and Justin Wilson, will be the ones to watch July 18 in the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. Andretti Autosport drivers have won the past five races and six of the eight at the .894-mile oval.
Andretti has four top-three finishes, including a victory in 2011, in eight starts.
“We roll off there with good cars; the team’s record there is better than mine,” he said. “That’s the first thing; you have to have a good car and then you need to execute. Those podiums of mine are great, but we want to win races.”
Andretti has an average finish of 8.3 this season. The Iowa victory by .7932 of a second over 2010 winner Tony Kanaan was Andretti’s last in Verizon IndyCar Series competition.
“I love short-oval racing and night racing,” he said. “It puts a huge demand on the driver and on the set-up being right. If you’re a little off, you’re a lot off because the lap is so short it can be easy to lose track distance and then you’re a lap down.”
On July 1, Andretti and CFH Racing co-owner/driver Ed Carpenter in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet tested aerodynamic components on the variably-banked track to confirm INDYCAR’s race-specific configurations.
Andretti said the racing should be similar to the past, which means excitement throughout the 262.2 miles under the lights.
“The behavior of the car we were pretty happy with toward the end of the test,” he said. “I think we were about a change away from having a car that car win a race.”