INDIANAPOLIS – Andretti Autosport was left scratching their heads once the day came to a close on Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For another year, they struggled in qualifying as they’d start 16-17-20-23 for Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix.
It wasn’t the first time that they struggled in qualifying for this race. It seems to be a common occurrence unfortunately for them. But, when essentially a team car in Colton Herta qualified fourth and all the Honda teams in general were strong, how did a team like Andretti become the worst of the manufacturer?
Well, they found pace overnight and were strong in the morning warmup. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for their race contending hopes to be dashed.
On the opening lap, Alexander Rossi was punted from behind which sent him off course and into trouble. Rossi’s No. 27 Honda had some damage which forced him to pit for repairs. He lost several laps and despite having a quick car after, he never was able to make up any ground and would finish a disappointing 22nd. It was his worst finish since a 21st place run in the 2017 season finale at Sonoma.
“The race was over before it began – we got hit from behind before the green flag even flew” said a disappointed Rossi after the race. “We went four laps down to fix the suspension, and from there, we were just hoping that cars would fall out, and unfortunately, no one really did and we ended up 22nd. I guess one consolation we can take is we finally had a fast car. I think we were top three to four in the dry and the quickest car in the wet. Today was just a day of ‘what could have been.'”
Not much later, his other teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay was punted by James Hinchcliffe in a chain reaction incident when Herta was spun in Turn 1 on the Lap 15 restart. Two more AA cars taken out of contention.
Herta, never got restarted and finished 24th. Hunter-Reay would keep going after having his car restarted but finished a disappointing 17th.
Marco Andretti struggled and only got to where he did due to pit strategy as he came away with a 13th place result. The best came from Zach Veach who finished 12th.
12-13-17-22-23 for AA.
That’s not a great start to the month. Luckily for them though, they’ve had a ton of success in the Indy 500 and hope to have more in two weeks.