INDYCAR SERIES legend Mario Andretti, the 1969 Indianapolis 500 champion, says that his son and team owner, Michael Andretti, feels good about this year’s 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, which takes place next Sunday.

Andretti Global has won the Greatest Spectacle In Racing five times, and Mario told Paddock Eye on Fast Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that ‘this is what we live for.’

Mario said that the team’s participation in the Greatest Spectacle In Racing keeps him going, and he chuckled, wishing he was still in the cockpit. Speaking about his grandson Marco, who only competes in the Indianapolis 500, Mario said that he (Marco) feels perfect about his chances in the race next weekend.

Mario said that he loves his engineer, that he has a good group of guys working with him, and that Michael has given him everything that he can. It’s a good team as they feed off each other, and Mario hopes the chips will fall the way they should.

Speaking about the addition of 2022 Indianapolis 500 champion Marcus Ericsson, who had a big accident on Thursday and is running his backup car, Mario said that when he won the Indy 500 in 1969, things didn’t go well for him in the build-up. Mario went on to say that when he had it smooth at the 500, he didn’t win, so you can never predict what will happen at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Mario says that you can never give up.

Mario says at the Indianapolis 500, you put your best foot forward, go into it with a positive attitude, and don’t dwell on the negative, Andretti said. Andretti said that he is sure Marcus knows what happened on Thursday and that he won’t do it again. Everybody is juiced up, ready, and behind him.

Speaking about the INDYCAR SERIES and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mario told us that it all comes down to the product and what that product is. It’s the quality of the teams and the drivers.

To me, the driving talent is unprecedented right now. There’s a great mix of national and international talents here. The events are unpredictable, and that is what makes things interesting. 

The series is underrated, in my opinion. If you have a product, which we do, it is always positive, and as long as you have positives going for you, that’s a good thing.

Speaking about Roger Penske, who owns the series and the Speedway, Andretti said he is a true racer. Mario says you have to look at the time he devotes to the series. Roger’s passion is solid and transparent. He’s a great leader.

Speaking to Paddock Eye about Scott Dixon and whether he feels that the Iceman can overtake AJ Foyt’s win record of 67 victories, Andretti says that you just have to look at what the Chip Ganassi Racing driver has done so far this season. Only he (Dixon) knows how long he wants to remain in the series. Dixon is still at the top of his game, no question, says Andretti.

Andretti says that the ability to finish races now makes anything possible, whereas in his and AJ’s day if he looked back at races he was leading when he retired, he thought about what could have been. Now, he says that you can finish a race unless there is some sort of mechanical issue and that the reliability of the cars today is something that today’s drivers have going for them.





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