Sato never returned and was 22nd.
“I think I misjudged it,” Sato said. “We came off the corner and I lost the back end and slid into Ryan. Extremely sorry to Andretti Autosport and crew.”
That left Andretti, who had turned Pocono into a one-man show. He topped the speed charts of both practice sessions, and then smashed the track record with a two-lap average speed of 221.273 mph to win the pole.
Pocono is considered a hometown track for the Andrettis, who hail from nearby Nazareth. Marco’s father, Michael, owns the team. His grandfather, Mario, was one of racing’s greatest drivers and is still a regular at the track.
The local kid led the field to green _ then led the race for 88 laps. He was ahead of the field, even as the team realized fuel would be an issue.
“We knew early,” about fuel concerns, Andretti said. “I think we should have responded quicker.”
They didn’t do it fast enough. Andretti simply didn’t have enough fuel to go to the distance in the 400-mile race and finally ran out just after his No. 25 Chevrolet crossed the finish line. He finished 10th and made the long walk back to the garage.
“We were just so dominant,” a despondent Marco said. “I’m just absolutely gutted.”