IRL: Indy 500: Michael, Marco Andretti press conference highlights

Michael Andretti, Marco Andretti May 23, 2003, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Michael Andretti About this year: "I can't say it's been a normal month of May, obviously, with the team and the ownership and all that. But I've got to say it's the...

Michael Andretti, Marco Andretti
May 23, 2003, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Michael Andretti

About this year:

"I can't say it's been a normal month of May, obviously, with the team and the ownership and all that. But I've got to say it's the most fun I've ever had the month of May. This team has just been so fun to work with that everybody from the drivers on down all the way through, it's just a different atmosphere. And it's been so good, and we're getting results on the racetrack. I'm hoping that continues, for sure, on Sunday. But it's been happening that way all year. It's just really been a dream year. So 48 hours before my last race. I'm not even thinking about as my last race. I'm still very, very focused on it being just another race that I try got to win. That's what I'm going to do."

About career memories:

"I think obviously starts the first year (1984). To me, it was such a great year. I think I hit a team that was starting to be a force, the Kraco team with Maury Kraines. He gave me a chance. I came here the month of May, the first month of May, it was just a dream year. I mean, the car was good, the team was working good. I mean, we even won the pit stop competition that year. And I won rookie of the year and all that. In some ways, 1984 was way too easy for me, because it was so good. We should have won a few races, but we had some bad luck. But then reality hit me the next the next year, which I think was very good for me. '85 was a disastrous year. It came so easy the first year, came so hard the second year. You learn from the hard years. I think those type of years really help you. Sometimes your worse ones are your best ones. Then from there on there's highlights, you know, of winning my first race in '86. Al (Unser) Jr. really made me do it in an honest way, which was awesome. It was so fitting to be going down to the final lap against Al and going wheel to wheel. From then on, we had so many great battles. Probably in the history of my career Al was the guy who I had some of my best races with. Then there's just the highlights, I was so fortunate to have some great ones. '91 at Laguna Seca was a storybook weekend. You can't have a better one. You look back, qualified poles, win the Marlboro Challenge, lead every lap of the race, win the championships and share it all with your father right there on the podium with you. Can't do any better than that. Of all the years, '91 obviously was the highlight year not only career-wise but family-wise. We set a lot of records that year for the family, a one-two-three finish on the podium at Milwaukee, four Andrettis qualifying for Indianapolis, my brother Jeff winning the rookie of the year honors, the first time three members of a one family won that honor. It was just a dream year."

When will your son Marco be at the Speedway?:

"Who knows? It could sooner than later. He's doing very well right now, beyond what I thought he could do at this point in his career. He's already winning races as soon as he got in a race car, which is unbelievable. He's doing good. If everything goes to plan, it could be four or five years he could be here driving hopefully for us. Like I've been saying, I want to be the first owner to say he had father and son drive for him."

Will you move to Indianapolis as part of your ownership duties :

"No, I will not. First of all, they don't want me here every day. Second, no, Nazareth is home, and a lot of the stuff I'm doing is over the phone. I'm a hundred times a day back and forth. That's all I need to know, talking to Kevin (Savoree) and Kim (Green). They're the ones running the team, and I don't need to be there day-to-day operations of it. But I'm very much involved, though. I'm there like a couple times a month, fly over and crack the whip a little bit."

Which race here do you think you should have won?:

"That's an obvious one. I think I should have won a lot of them, but '92, it was no question. There was nobody in that race that could run with us. There were times in that race I was just thinking: 'This is too easy; where is somebody? I'm going to have to race somebody sooner or later.' There was nobody around. The car was so dominant. I think my quickest lap in the race was 229, and the next quickest lap in the race was 225. It was like incredible. You never have days like that at any racetrack, let alone Indianapolis. That was definitely the year that we had it."

How do you want to be remembered as a driver?:

"I want to be remember I was the guy who could win any race. Didn't matter where I started or what type of racetrack it was or whatever. I just to be remembered, 'Don't count him out.'"

Highlights at Indy:

"I hope I'm still waiting for the best one. The first year I was here was definitely a highlight, one of the biggest highlights. Then another one at the top was the family thing in '91. We all were very proud there was four of us out there. I mean, what are the odds of four family members being in the same race like that? Those are years you'll remember for life."

Marco Andretti (16-year-old son of Michael Andretti)

Do you feel any pressure at your young age?:

"Obviously, because of the accomplishments they (grandfather, father) have in the past, but you've got to block that out and try to do your best. Obviously, it would be great to be better than them, but it's a long, long way away. I've just got to get to the top before any of that. We'll see."

What are you looking for Sunday from your dad?:

"A win. I believe he can do it. He just needs everything to go right for him, and he'll be able to do it. I believe in him, and he believes in his teammates. That's the best combination you can have. We just need the luck."

It's has been said you drive more like your grandfather than your father?:

"I don't know. Hopefully, the best of both worlds in that part. Like he said, his dad and him were similar and like the passion to just drive. He loves driving. I don't know the difference in them."

Where will you watch the race?:

"We have a suite above Gasoline Alley. I'll watch it from there."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Marco Andretti