- Associated Press - Sunday, May 27, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Michael Andretti watched three of his cars dominate the first half of the Indianapolis 500. And by the end of Sunday’s race, they were no factor at all. Again.

“I don’t believe in curses, but I don’t know what it is,” Andretti said after losing yet another opportunity to win the 500. “It’s very frustrating.”

It was particularly frustrating given the promise this May had shown.

Three of the Andretti cars, those belonging to James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti, had been consistently among the fastest in practice and qualified in the top four spots for the race.

Throughout the first 100 laps, all three were packed tightly together again, running consistently among the top five.

But just before the midway point of the race, things suddenly started going wrong for Andretti Five.

Brazil’s Ana Beatriz spun out on lap 90. American Hunter-Reay’s rear suspension broke on lap 124. Twenty-three laps later, the car of Colombia’s Sebastian Saavedra rolled to a stop on the warm-up lane with an electrical failure, nearly taking out teammate Marco Andretti, who had just pitted.

Michael already knew his team was in trouble.

“If he wouldn’t have pitted when Saavedra went out, if he could have stayed out one more lap, think I think we would have had a chance,” Michael Andretti said.

Things only got worse.

The most galling mishap came on lap 188 when Spain’s Oriol Servia and Marco Andretti were running close together. Andretti dipped toward the white line and spun, hitting the outside wall in the first turn and forcing the Andrettis to wait one more year since their last drive into Victory Lane when Mario Andretti won the 1969 500.

Afterward, Marco Andretti was disappointed.

“Servia decided to run two-wide at Indianapolis for two consecutive laps and makes me turn in from the white line. I had no hope of making that corner because not only am I turning in from the white line, he just crossed my bow, so I was completely out of it. Nothing I can do,” the 25-year-old American said. “It definitely rang my bell.”

Canadian Hinchcliffe did manage to finish sixth, keeping him in the points chase.

But to Andrettis knew this was a blown opportunity.

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