Marco Andretti’s Month of May has not gone as well as he would have liked so far, but his team has found and corrected a few key issues and that has left him feeling optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s Indianapolis 500.
Last year, Andretti started from pole in the famous race, but this year saw the veteran languishing in the back third of the field all through the first week of practice.
After the team tirelessly searched for the cause of the lack of pace, they finally narrowed it down to a bad floor just after qualifying and were able to replace it.
“I was basically just telling them that there’s something wrong,” explained Andretti after Carb Day. “Even dad [Michael Andretti] would confirm it.
“We’d be in the meetings saying, ‘we have to find it.’ We just put a new floor on, which was on paper not as good as my teammate’s.
“I’m happy actually. Way happier after Carb Day this year than last even starting on pole.”
After replacing the floor, the car immediately felt like it should and Andretti logged the fifth fastest time on the final practice day known as Carb Day.
That rebound came after a second scare, however, as the team discovered a malfunctioning control unit as it headed out to start Friday’s running.
The unit was replaced, but once again left the team feeling lucky as the problem would not have been discovered until the race if Carb Day was cancelled due to the rain that threatened the area.
“I’m not a Carb Day fan, but today it saved my Indy 500,” continued Andretti. “That’s why you have Carb Day. There was a bad electrical box we would have found on lap one.
“That’s what Carb Day is all about. We’re lucky. I’m happy it didn’t rain because we found the electrical box that we would have had a DNF in the Indy 500. So we’re really, really lucky.
“I wish we had better track position, but beggars can’t be choosers. I’ve dodged a couple bullets already.”
Andretti starts the Indy 500 from the 25th position, and will look to climb through the field over the course of the 200-lap race.