Marco Andretti to Begin IndyCar Series Career with ArcaEx Team
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 20, 2005) - Third-generation driver Marco Andretti will launch his Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series career in 2006 as the driver of the #26 Honda-powered Dallara for Andretti Green Racing with the backing of the Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx), which is returning to the team in its role as a major sponsor.
Marco, 18, is the son of two-time IndyCar Series championship-winning team owner and former CART champion Michael Andretti, and the grandson of racing legend Mario Andretti. ArcaEx, the nation's first totally open all-electronic stock exchange, has been a major sponsor of Andretti Green and driver Dario Franchitti since the start of the 2003 season. ArcaEx has visited victory lane five times in the IndyCar Series with Andretti Green, most recently at California Speedway when Franchitti won from the pole in the 2005 season finale.
Marco has been competing in various levels of motorsports since the age of nine. Most recently, he participated in the 2005 Star Mazda Series on a full-time basis, placing fifth in the final championship standings while registering three top-fives over 12 events. He also competed in six IRL Infiniti Pro Series events, earning three victories from the pole (St. Petersburg, Indianapolis road course and Infineon Raceway).
Previously, he claimed the 2004 Skip Barber Series National Championship, the 2004 Formula TR Championship, the 2004 Skip Barber Formula Dodge Southern Series Championship and the 2003 Skip Barber Formula Dodge Eastern Series Championship. He has also notched multiple karting wins and championships.
The younger Andretti will team with 2004 IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan, four-time IndyCar Series winner Dario Franchitti and two-time IndyCar Series winner Bryan Herta in the four-car Andretti Green Racing stable. And, for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500, the quartet of drivers will be joined by Michael Andretti as they attempt to win consecutive Indianapolis 500-mile races for Andretti Green Racing. The event will mark the first time since 1994 that a father and son will compete together at the event. That year saw Mario make his final Indianapolis 500 appearance while Michael made his 10th Indy start.
The 2006 IndyCar Series schedule begins Sunday, March 26, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 14-race schedule features 11 oval tracks, two permanent road courses and one temporary street circuit.
Marco Andretti, #26 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I'm excited about having the opportunity to drive the ArcaEx car for Andretti Green Racing. Over the past couple of years, I've had the opportunity to spend time in the paddock with the ArcaEx team, as well as my three teammates, so that is a plus. I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me and a pretty steep learning curve, but I also know that I have one of the best teams in motorsports working with me."
Michael Andretti, Chief Executive Officer, Andretti Green Racing: "It's a thrill, both as a team owner and as a father, to have Marco joining the ArcaEx team and Andretti Green Racing. ArcaEx has been a great partner and to have their support behind this effort means a great deal. Marco has shown his abilities while competing in the various development series and it will be exciting to watch him grow as a driver in the IndyCar Series."
Jerry Putnam, Chief Executive Officer, Archipelago: "Archipelago has enjoyed a great relationship with Andretti Green Racing and with Dario over the past three years, and we are excited about this opportunity to align our company with the rise of a young star like Marco Andretti. We strongly believe that the combination of speed and technology in IndyCar racing and Marco's incomparable legacy offers us a unique marketing opportunity."