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Marco Andretti to return for 19th Indianapolis 500 attempt

Written by Dan Jones, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Andretti’s incredible longevity continues; Credit: Joe Skibinski via INDYCAR

Marco Andretti has finally been confirmed for his 19th attempt at the Indianapolis 500, racing for his father’s team, Andretti Global, as he has done in all other 18 attempts at the fabled race, as he looks to break the ‘Andretti Curse,’ the run of bad luck Andretti, father Michael and Grandfather Mario have experienced, when attempting to win one of motorsport’s finest races.

Andretti is the latest one-off entry announced for May’s 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500. As announced in August, Helio Castroneves will return to the #06 Meyer Shank Racing, as he drops to an Indy 500-only schedule, whilst Christian Rasmussen will be one of five debutants in May’s race, featuring in an additional Ed Carpenter Racing entry. 

Kyle Larson will be another of those rookies, as he performs ‘The Double,’ in Arrow McLaren’s fourth entry, supported by Larson’s NASCAR team, Hendrick Motorsports. 

R.C. Enerson was announced in January to once again be teaming up with Abel Motorsports to try and emulate their feel-good story from 2023, whilst Dreyer and Reinbold are expected to line up with Conor Daly and Ryan Hunter-Reay, bringing the total entries to 34, one more than the field requires on May 26th, meaning bumping will once again feature in 2024.

Andretti’s confirmation means Andretti Global return to the four entries they have traditionally run full-time, after Romain Grosjean and Devlin DeFrancesco were dropped by the team at the end of 2023, recruiting in 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson to line-up alongside Colton Herta and Kyle Kirkwood — the latter particularly impressing in the race last season, until he was involved in a frightening accident with Felix Rosenqvist.

The 36-year-old, who will turn 37 come May, hasn’t had the best of times in the Speedway in recent years, despite a famous pole in 2020. Andretti hasn’t featured in the top 10 since 2017, and the top five since 2014, his best finish of second being in his maiden attempt in 2006, when he lost in the second-closest finish in the race's history, agonisingly overtaken on the run to the finish line.

This is just one of many cases of the ‘Andretti Curse.’ His father, Michael, was unable to win the race in 16 attempts, despite his longevity and success in the series, with grandfather Mario the only Andretti to take success at Indianapolis, in 1969, the Andretti cars since having a curse placed upon them, which has never seen them win again.

It was a frustrating 2023 attempt for Andretti. Credit: Karl Zemlin via INDYCAR

Andretti’s frustrations were clear last year, particularly during a disappointing qualifying session, when he couldn’t match the likes of teammate, Kyle Kirkwood, before a quiet race on the Sunday saw Andretti finish 17th. 

Andretti will once again enter in the #98 entry, as he has done in recent years, with the backing of MAPEI, a leading manufacturer of chemical products.

CEO and Chairman of Andretti Global, Michael Andretti stated: "The Indianapolis 500 is a marquee event, and we’re honored to welcome a new brand as the primary partner on the No. 98 at the 500.” 

Andretti’s announcement was one waiting to happen, but it’s just a subtle reminder that the Month of May is getting even closer.


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