Marco Andretti enters his ninth season as an IndyCar Series driver coming off a career best of fifth in the championship, which he credited to work before the 2013 season. For 2014, Andretit will sport the blue and yellow colors of Snapple, and he aims to take the next step and win the IndyCar Series championship.
In the latest installment of Catching Up With..., the third-generation driver talks about his Andretti Autosport car's new look, his offseason exploits and the new addition to his family -- a bulldog named Moodie.
Q. You’ll be carrying the Snapple colors in 2014, and while Dr Pepper/Snapple isn’t a new sponsor for you, is carrying one of the name brands is a big deal for you?
A. Those guys (at Dr Pepper/Snapple) have been so loyal, really to the whole team, but to me, especially. (To have a sponsor for) six years and running is awesome. Really, I want to give those guys what they deserve and that’s a bunch of wins, the Indy 500 and the championship.
Q. Before last season, you took the step to work with a driver coach and do what needed to be done to improve as a driver. What have you been doing in this offseason to take the next big step in your career?
A. If you look at what cost us wins last year, really we just need to do a lot of the same things we did last year and really capitalize on leading those laps by leading the right laps. The disappointing stat for me is 1,000 laps led (Andretti has led 907) but only two victories. Really, we need to be there when it counts.
Q. The offseason is also a time for you to kick back and relax with your friends. I know you try to take trip each year with (comedian) Kevin Hart and (recording artist/actor) Ludacris. Where did you guys head off to this year?
A. We went to Anguilla and did some island-hopping (in the Caribbean). We went to St. Maarten and then the Dominican Republic with Ice-T and Coco on the way back. We really spoiled ourselves this offseason. That’s what we normally do. I take some prize money and just get away and relax. But as soon as I get there, all I want to do is come back and get to work.
Q. And you adopted a puppy from Ice and Coco as well. How is life with Moodie?
A. She’s a lunatic, that dog. Moodie always wants to play when we’re sleeping, which I don’t know how that’s going to work when I’m staying at home for Pocono. She’s probably going to my mom’s, for sure.