Could prime Indianapolis 500 starting spot help Marco break the Andretti Curse?

dul sanchez

Marco Andretti’s first memories of the Indianapolis 500 (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET) were not made inside the walls of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They come from the parking lot outside Turn 2. That’s where the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Motel, better known simply as the “Speedway Motel,” stood from 1963 to 2009. Every May, the old-school, 96-room motor lodge was the residency of the greatest names in 500 history.

When Mario Andretti started racing there in 1965, his little boy Michael would play on the balcony of the family’s room at the Speedway Motel and swim in the courtyard pool that was lined with those balconies, all while the motel was shaken with the roar of his father laying down hot laps on the 2.5-mile rectangular racetrack only a few hundred yards away.

In the late 1980s, it was Michael’s son who was on the balcony and in the pool, while

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As planned, final Indy 500 practice ‘uncomfortable’ for Marco Andretti

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Indy 500 pole-sitter Marco Andretti gritted through his Carb Day in a thoroughly unenjoyable final practice Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Which was precisely the plan for the Andretti Autosport driver.

After leading the speed charts for the past three days at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (including Fast Friday and two days of qualifying), Andretti’s No. 98 Dallara-Honda team worked to ensure they knew which setup adjustments to avoid making during Sunday’s 104th Indy 500.

THE 104TH INDY 500: How to watch Sunday’s race on NBC

‘A MASTERPIECE’: Marco Andretti loves his car for the Indy 500

“Today the goal was to put myself in the most uncomfortable circumstances possible because we’re not planning on leading 200 laps,” Andretti told hosts Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick in an NBCSN interview after the two-hour session. “That would be beautiful. But we know there’s going to be a state of adversity

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Indy 500 Marco Andretti says pole-winning car is masterpiece

dul sanchez

INDIANAPOLIS — Marco Andretti stopped paying attention long ago to what people say about him on social media.

As a third-generation driver whose 15 NTT IndyCar Series seasons have yielded two victories (the most recent in 2011) over 240 starts, the withering criticism and comparisons to the success of his legendary grandfather, Mario, and his father and team owner, Michael, are inevitable.

But the Andretti Autosport driver soaked in the feedback Sunday when his pole position in the 104th Indy 500 brought a wave of congratulations from his IndyCar peers. On Twitter, Team Penske posted video of its drivers reacting to the pole. Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles shared the cheers of fans watching from outside the track across 16th Street.

THE 104TH INDY 500: How to watch Sunday’s race on NBC

“That was so cool,” Marco Andretti, who retweeted all of the posts, told

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Happy for his friend Marco, hopeful for himself at the Indy 500

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Sage Karam considers Marco Andretti a great friend.

“He’s more like a brother to me, actually,” Karam said.

Karam is thrilled that Andretti is on the pole for Sunday’s 104th edition of the Indianapolis 500 1/8 2:30 p.m. on NBC] and said that if he can’t win the race, he hopes his friend and fellow Lehigh Valley native will.

“I want to win, but if I can’t, I am definitely pulling for him,” he said.

While Marco Andretti tries to end the so-called Andretti Curse at the world’s most famous racetrack, Karam is looking for his own breakthrough moment.

It’s the seventh time he’s participating in the so-called “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and since he’s not running full-time on the NTT IndyCar circuit, he realizes Sunday’s race is another opportunity for him to get where he wants to be. A good showing could lead to more sponsors and a move

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Marco Andretti says family is ‘blessed’ not ‘cursed’ after winning Indy 500 pole position

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EXCLUSIVE – Marco Andretti doesn’t believe in a family curse, but he’s fine if you do.

The third-generation driver on Sunday won pole position for the upcoming Indy 500, becoming the first Andretti to do so since his grandfather Mario started from the front in 1987.

Mario dominated that race until a mechanical issue ended his chances for victory with just 23 laps to go. It was of many disappointments he, son Michael, Marco and other members of the Andretti clan have suffered in the Indy 500 since his 1969 win made the family name synonymous with speed.

(Andretti Autosport​​​​​)

Andretti said the curse is a funny story the family is happy to lean into for the media, but not something he takes in the car with him — despite having lost in his rookie outing on the final straight with dad right behind him in third place.

Sam Hornish Jr. edged out Andretti in the 2006 Indy 500.

Sam Hornish

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Marco Andretti talks winning Indy 500 pole, family history and if the Andretti Curse is real

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The Indianapolis 500 isn’t until Sunday, but Marco Andretti is already making race history — and family history too.



Marco Andretti et al. that are standing in the snow


© Provided by For The Win


After a strong performance this weekend during the initial qualifying session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for one of the biggest races in the world, Andretti won the Fast Nine Shootout for the prestigious pole position to lead the field to green.

And that means the 104th Indy 500 will mark the first time since 1987 that a member of the Andretti family will start on the pole. And 33-year-old Marco, looking to follow his grandfather, legendary racer Mario Andretti, could be the first Andretti in more than five decades to win it all.

Monday, For The Win spoke with Marco — who drives the No. 98 Honda for his father Michael’s team, Andretti Autosport — about winning the pole, his chances of winning the Indy

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Marco Andretti leads Honda rout on opening day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying

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Jenna Fryer
 |  The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Marco Andretti led a Honda rout on the first day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying — a session dominated by Andretti Autosport and Honda as Team Penske was shut out of pole contention.

Andretti posted a four-lap average of 231.351 mph to top the speed chart Saturday ahead of teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe. The fastest nine advance to a Sunday shootout that determines the first three rows for the Indianapolis 500.

The Andretti organization grabbed four of the slots and Honda drivers took eight of nine overall.

“Honda brought it this year,” Andretti said. “I was able to just go out and do my job and, man, when it all comes together, it is just beautiful.”

Hunter-Reay was second, Rossi third and Hinchcliffe fourth in the Andretti sweep.

“To be one-through-four is pretty unheard of,” Rossi acknowledged.

Andretti Autosport

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Marco Andretti talks pole, family history and Andretti Curse

dul sanchez

The Indianapolis 500 isn’t until Sunday, but Marco Andretti is already making race history — and family history too.

After a strong performance this weekend during the initial qualifying session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for one of the biggest races in the world, Andretti won the Fast Nine Shootout for the prestigious pole position to lead the field to green.

And that means the 104th Indy 500 will mark the first time since 1987 that a member of the Andretti family will start on the pole. And 33-year-old Marco, looking to follow his grandfather, legendary racer Mario Andretti, could be the first Andretti in more than five decades to win it all.

Monday, For The Win spoke with Marco — who drives the No. 98 Honda for his father Michael’s team, Andretti Autosport — about winning the pole, his chances of winning the Indy 500 (1 p.m. ET, NBC) and

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IndyCar’s Marco Andretti on how the Indy 500 is losing its ‘electric’ atmosphere without fans

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There are a few “firsts” happening during Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 (1 p.m. ET, NBC) and the week leading up to it.



a person riding on the back of a motorcycle


© Provided by For The Win


The most obvious is that it’s taking place in a month other than May for the first time ever, which is a big deal considering the whole month typically is filled with events and builds up momentum for race day. The IndyCar Series announced the race’s postponement back in March as major events across most sports in the U.S. were delayed or canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond that, there will be empty grandstands at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time in 104 Indy 500s, track and IndyCar Series owner Roger Penske announced earlier this month. This, too, is because of the coronavirus crisis.



a person riding on the back of a motorcycle


© Provided by For The Win


Marco Andretti during qualifying for the 2020 Indianapolis 500. (Mark J.

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Legendary racer Mario Andretti had the sweetest reaction to grandson Marco winning 2020 Indy 500 pole

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After a 33-year wait, a member of the storied Andretti family will once again start on the pole and lead the Indianapolis 500 field to green. And although he wasn’t the one behind the wheel, no one seemed more excited about that than the family patriarch, Mario Andretti, who won the 1969 Indy 500 and was last on the pole in 1987.



Marco Andretti riding on the back of a motorcycle


© Provided by For The Win


It was Mario’s grandson, 33-year-old Marco Andretti, who won the 2020 Indy 500 pole Sunday during the Fast Nine Shootout, thanks to his four-lap run of two minutes, 35.7985 seconds, averaging 231.068 miles per hour. Driving for Andretti Autosport, his father Michael Andretti’s team, Marco edged Scott Dixon — the five-time IndyCar Series champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner — by .017 miles per hour, which, by speed, is the third-smallest margin in the race’s history, according to the series.

Mario —

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