Andretti Ends His 200th Race In Seventh

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Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti in the No.27 United Fiber and Data Honda celebrated his 200th Verizon IndyCar Series start with a seventh place finish in Sunday’s season ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Andretti started the race from eleventh and speaking following the race he said:

 “I think we pretty much maximized our pace today. We probably could have gotten (Graham) Rahal, but I couldn’t hold him on black (Firestone tires). I was on cold blacks and I locked up, so I did the best I could to keep him behind me. It was pretty obvious the Penske cars were in a league of their own so we were just trying to maximize what we had going on. We don’t come here to finish seventh but it’s a decent result, it’s something to build on. I really think the (2018) package will be way more to my strengths. I struggle in the high-speed corners, I struggled in (Turn) 6 today so I need to get a grip on that. I don’t just want to turn the page after not being great this year, I want to figure out why we weren’t great. I have no doubt next year we can be on it. I tidied up my street course game, which was my old weakness, so I think if we get my strength back on the short ovals, where I used to be good, who knows?”

Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda started the race from seventh place and finished the event just behind his team mate Marco Andretti in eighth.

Speaking following the race, Hunter Reay commented by saying:

 “I don’t know what happened on the start, but (our lane) didn’t go and I got jumped by three or four cars there. It was kind of a mess. We were just in recovery mode from there, trying to get back up where we started. We made some setup changes before the race that didn’t work out. Often in this sport it’s trial and error, and we found what didn’t work today. Disappointing finish to the race but all in all, looking at where we were in the championship points leaving Indy, to finish ninth in the championship, we clawed our way back many, many spots. But, we’re here to win races, win championships and we’ve certainly had our fair share of misfortune this year but there’s also a lot we could have done better. We’ll have to put all that together and hopefully have a little bit better luck next year and be a stronger overall effort

It was a disappointing end to his time with Andretti Autosport for Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato in the No.26 Dickinson Fleet Services Honda.

The Japanese driver started the race from 5th, however in the race he retired on lap 62.

Speaking following the race he commented by saying:

 “It was an unforgettable season. I had a great time in the team and we are so bonded for the No. 26 boys. I can’t thank every single person in the entire Andretti Autosport family enough. It was a great time and we achieved something, an unbelievable (Indianapolis 500) win. (Today’s result is) a shame, we wanted to finish strong but this is motor racing. I really appreciate everybody’s support. Thank you for everything. It’s been a tough, roller coaster season but we showed tremendous speed, especially for the last six races. It’s unbelievable, always (being) one of the top Hondas. That’s something I’m really proud of with the No. 26 boys and it was a fabulous year so thank you for everything.”

Alexander Rossi has had a breakthrough second year in the Verizon IndyCar Series having completely dominated the IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen.

In Sunday’s finale however the Californian endured a tough event and was forced to retire his No.98 NAPA Auto Parts with Curb Honda.

Speaking following the race he commented by saying:

“It was a pretty disappointing day, to have a mechanical issue after the first stop. I think we were in a pretty decent position to possibly get in the top five after our opening stint but it wasn’t meant to be today. A huge shout out to the NAPA Auto Parts team and the Andretti-Herta boys for the hard work back in the garage to get us back out there, we picked up another spot. To close the season off this way is disappointing but at the same time, there’s a huge amount of positives we can take from the year and I can’t wait to get started again in 2018.”

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