LONG POND, Pa. – On pace for his eighth top-10 championship finish in 10 Verizon IndyCar Series seasons, Marco Andretti enters the ABC Supply 500 on pace to complete every race lap.
Andretti, of nearby Nazareth, Pa., winces at the public acknowledgement for fear of being jinxed. Still, through 14 races, Andretti is the only driver to complete all 1,947 laps. By adding 285 laps over the final two races of the season, he would join former teammate Tony Kanaan as the only Indy car drivers to go through a season with such a distinction.
Kanaan completed all 3,305 laps in 17 races on the way to winning the 2004 championship.
Andretti, who has been running at the finish in the past 17 races spanning two seasons, said “it’s everything” – from the crew of the No. 27 Snapple Honda for Andretti Autosport to fortune and more – to be in this position.
“It takes me staying out of trouble. It’s definitely a credit to Honda as well for its reliability,” said Andretti, who is seventh in the standings and mathematically eligible for the title. “Even when we’ve been a lap down we’ve still managed to come back to be on the lead lap.
“There have only been a few races where we’ve been out of the top 10. From that standpoint, I’m happy with my season. I wish the highs were a little bit higher. We’ve minimizing how bad the lows are, but we need to capitalize when we have the cars to do it.”
Andretti, who’s also looking to make his 166th consecutive Indy car start, has 11 top-10 finishes, including the past four races.
“I feel we can compete anywhere we roll off,” he said. “Our mentality is a must win this weekend. Maybe some of the guys at the front it’s almost conservative, whereas for me I have a little less to lose. I just have to worry about me and try to maximize what we can do and the rest, hopefully, will take care of itself.”