June 3, 2023

Mechanic Escape

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Is Indy 500 ‘Andretti Curse’ lifted following Marco’s pole position?

INDIANAPOLIS — Just after extra than 5 decades of Brickyard irritation the “Andretti Curse” has come to be as considerably a part of the Indianapolis five hundred as the command for drivers to “start your engines.”

American motor racing royalty, the Andrettis have dominated over open wheel racing in the United States with a string of victories that have related generations — father (Mario), to son (Michael), to grandson (Marco).

But for all their achievement at circuits all-around the environment, Mario’s Indy five hundred victory in 1969 stands on your own.

More than the many years what was initial shrugged off as undesirable luck, grew to become cruel misfortune then later a complete blown jinx that now ranks suitable up there with the Boston Purple Sox “Curse of the Bambino” and Chicago Cubs’ “Curse of the Billy Goat.”

For people wanting for signs that what ever voodoo planted on the Andrettis will be lifted this yr, there were hints on Sunday that one thing was distinct when 33-yr-old Marco grabbed pole place 33 many years soon after Mario was the past Andretti to start from the front.

The Andrettis have happily played alongside when it comes to the curse, neither embracing or dismissing it.

Marco routinely turns the tables stating his family members is not cursed but blessed although at the same time conceding the final results propose darker forces at do the job.

A idea this yr has the curse thrown out of whack by the COVID-19 pandemic which compelled the Indy five hundred to go from its common May possibly twenty fourth day to Aug. 23.

“I you should not believe it (the curse) exists in August so we are good,” Andretti informed Reuters with a snicker. “As a family members we would chat that we are blessed not cursed but it is a neat media story and we have been functioning with it.

“Success smart, yeah, probably there is one thing to it mainly because guy the three of us have been so dominant right here.

“We have a bunch of podiums, but this is a person put wherever that will not make a difference.”

Surely when it comes to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Andrettis’ relationship has been extra star-crossed than aligned.

Marco’s father Michael, has been a 5-situations winner of the Indy five hundred as a workforce proprietor, but in 16 situations as a driver, he could not get to Victory Lane.

In his 2006 rookie time Marco completed second but has in no way been that near again.

An American driver profitable the Indianapolis five hundred will have supporters waving the Stars and Stripes – an Andretti profitable “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” would convey fireworks.

Admirers, drivers and any one related to motor racing understands what the Andretti title suggests to the activity.

When Marco’s title flashed at the best of the timing tower on Sunday social media exploded and the pit lane applauded.

Fellow drivers ran to Marco’s vehicle to provide congratulations although his father hugged him and fought back again tears.

Thanks to COVID-19 health and basic safety protocols there will be no spectators in grandstands that normally would be packed with near to 300,000 motor racing supporters.

Possibly way Andretti suggests he will nonetheless truly feel the help.

“Just experience the help from the pole I can’t even imagine what it would be like if we gained the race,” explained Marco. “You would see a couple of grown adult men cry.

“Just viewing the films of supporters throughout the road donning my jersey, which is so neat and the unwavering help on social media.”