INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Michael Andretti’s team finally overcame its May curse.
Patrick posted a four-lap average of 224.861 mph after it looked like she might not even get to qualify on Bump Day. Andretti delivered an even more clutch performance in the final run of the day, going 224.628 to bump his way back onto the 33-car grid.
“It was either going to be into the wall or into the show,” the 24-year-old son of the team owner said. “It was a bummer that we were in this position.”
Perhaps it should have been expected _ given the family history at Indianapolis.
Marco Andretti’s grandfather, Mario, won the 1969 Indy 500 but never reached Victory Lane again. Michael, led more laps at Indy than any other non-winner, and Marco wound up as the 500 runner-up when Sam Hornish Jr. passed him in the closing yards of the 2006 race.
But as much consternation as the Andrettis have endured at this 2.5-mile oval, this might have been their worst month ever at Indy.
Andretti Autosport’s five-car stable struggled to reach the top of the speed charts all week, then wound up in deep trouble Saturday. It took 10 qualifying attempts to get a single car, John Andretti’s No. 43, into the May 29 race.
“It kind of seemed like everything was not going our way, and it kept going against us,” Patrick said.
The worst part was Sunday.
Patrick should have been the second driver out but was forced to the back of the qualifying line when the No. 7 car failed technical inspection. Michael Andretti said the team had changed a part in the rear of the car between Saturday and Sunday.
Graham Rahal capitalized on the miscue by beating a downpour that forced the track to close. He came in at 224.380.View Entire Story
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