Indianapolis, IN - Michael Andretti is working the angle of "hometown advantage" for him and his Team Motorola teammates this weekend at Nazareth Speedway. Michael, a resident of Nazareth, will be running his 14th event at the .95-mile oval that...
Indianapolis, IN - Michael Andretti is working the angle of "hometown advantage" for him and his Team Motorola teammates this weekend at Nazareth Speedway. Michael, a resident of Nazareth, will be running his 14th event at the .95-mile oval that is just minutes from his front door. "It's always great to race in Nazareth, my home track," said Andretti. "I spend quite a bit of time at the Nazareth Speedway and I feel like I know it pretty well and that's an advantage on race day."
Team Motorola is hoping that the advantage of racing in Michael's hometown, on his home track positions him for a podium finish this weekend. Team Motorola has started the season with mixed results; a fourth place finish in the season opener in Monterrey and a DNF in the second race at Long Beach has them in sixth place in the championship with 12 points. Nazareth will be a pivotal weekend explained Team Manager Tony Cotman. "We've had our ups and downs starting this season but the upside is that we've been very competitive every time out on the track. We are still in sixth position in points, and Michael is usually very competitive on the ovals so we need to take advantage this weekend and score a podium finish. "
The Nazareth weekend begins a very important stretch for Team Motorola, not only a hometown race for their driver but the beginning of a four race stand in four weeks; Nazareth, Motegi, Indianapolis and Milwaukee. Team Motorola General Manager Kim Green put their task into perspective. "Nazareth is a huge race for Michael since it's his hometown and he's always had great results on the track here. Based on our short oval testing this winter I feel pretty confident that we can provide Michael a race car that will put him on the podium." Green went on to say, "A great result this race weekend will give Michael and the team momentum for Indianapolis qualifying and the Motegi Champ Car race in two weeks, where Michael and Team Motorola are determined to bring Honda their first victory at Motegi."
Andretti has kept his task in perspective as well, "I know this is a very busy month for me but it helps that I will be starting it off in my hometown in front of friends and family. I just want to stay focused and go into each weekend with the goal of a podium finish and championship points. To be honest, I'm really excited about the next month, but I can guarantee I'll be ready for that weekend off after Milwaukee."
Team Motorola and Andretti begin practice on Friday, May 4 at 9:45 a.m. The Lehigh Valley Grand Prix will be shown live on ABC on Sunday, May 6 beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST.