Team Venom Racer Seeks Second 2011 Oval Victory on Fast Track After Strong Test Run
SPARTA, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2011) - Marco Andretti is set for another sensational oval track performance this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.
The 24-year-old third generation driving star from Nazareth, Pa., comes to the fast 1.5-mile oval south of Cincinnati with momentum. Last week's productive testing session has Andretti ready to match his come-from-behind Iowa Speedway victory in June.
Andretti, driving the No. 26 Team Venom Energy Drink machine, also scored an impressive podium finish two weeks ago at the road circuit in Motegi, Japan with a third place. Marco is no stranger to Kentucky Speedway podium with a third in 2008. In his last four starts in Sparta, Marco has four top-ten finishes including sixth last year.
With two races remaining in the 17-event IZOD IndyCar Series, Andretti currently ranks seventh in points and has a strong shot at a top-five finish.
Andretti leads a four-driver Andretti Autosport effort for Sunday's 200-lap Kentucky Indy 300, set to start at 2:45 p.m. EDT Sunday and televised live on VERSUS TV.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, the New Hampshire winner, is seeking to reverse his recent fortunes with two straight knockouts at Baltimore and Japan. Hunter-Reay was running fourth in the streets of Baltimore when his car was hit from behind, and was struck by a similar fate at Japan while running eighth. Despite the past two races, the driver of the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda entry still has a chance of a top-five placing in the final point standings.
Danica Patrick, who won the pole in her first Kentucky Speedway appearance in 2005, returns to the track after consecutive top-ten finishes in 2009 and 2010. The driver of the popular No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com car has always been competitive at Kentucky and looks to move back into the top-ten in points with a strong showing Sunday.
This year's Long Beach champion, Mike Conway, is prepared for a solid oval track run this weekend in the No. 27 Team @FollowAndretti car. Conway, who missed last year's Kentucky event due to Indy 500 injuries, continues to improve his oval track skills with each event after a road racing background that included a role as a Formula One test driver.
Practice and qualifying is scheduled for Saturday at Kentucky Speedway with television coverage of the race beginning at 2 p.m. EDT Sunday on VERSUS.
MARCO ANDRETTI, #26 TEAM VENOM ENERGY DRINK CAR
"I'm looking forward to racing at Kentucky this weekend. The Venom car had a strong test there last week so I think there's potential to be competitive for sure. I'd like to get another oval win to help us gain on the oval points championship."
MIKE CONWAY, #27 TEAM @FOLLOWANDRETTI CAR
"It feels like it has been awhile since we were last on an oval, so I am looking forward to getting back out on track at Kentucky Speedway. I didn't get to race there last year [due to injuries from the Indy 500]. Our Andretti Autosport team tested last week at Kentucky and Marco [Andretti] ran well there, so we are looking promising. We hope that form will continue this weekend and we can pick up a good result. Both Marco and Ryan [Hunter-Reay] have won on oval tracks this year. We would like to do it again this weekend."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, #28 TEAM DHL/CIRCLE K/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA CAR
"Kentucky is an important race for the entire Andretti Autosport team for many reasons. We've been working hard on our oval speed and performance resulting in two wins on ovals this year. Now we need to improve on the 1.5-mile ovals. The DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda team has had a strong run in the second half of the season and the next two races are crucial to close out the season on a high note. We still have a shot at finishing in the top five in the season standings."
DANICA PATRICK, #7 TEAM GoDaddy.com CAR
"I'm looking forward to going back to Kentucky. Last year we had a pretty good race, running up in the lead pack and finishing in the top-10. But I know we want to do even better for the GoDaddy.com team, and I think if we have a good qualifying session, we'll have a chance at the top-five. We'll just need to be consistent and use the practice time to get the right qualifying setup."