ANDRETTI USES RESTART TO SCORE THIRD-PLACE FINISH AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY SPARTA, Ky. (Aug.13, 2005) Vonage driver Marco Andretti took advantage of a restart on lap 57 to jump from sixth to second before going on to post a third-place finish in the...
ANDRETTI USES RESTART TO SCORE THIRD-PLACE FINISH AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY
SPARTA, Ky. (Aug.13, 2005) Vonage driver Marco Andretti took advantage of a restart on lap 57 to jump from sixth to second before going on to post a third-place finish in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Bluegrass 100 at Kentucky Speedway. Sunday's race was just the third oval-track race of Andretti's career.
Andretti, who started fifth in the #26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, charged to third in the opening two laps of the 67-lap event before the car developed handling issues. Andretti dropped as far back as ninth while battling a group of five cars in the second pack during a long green-flag run to open the event.
The only caution flag of the race flew with approximately 20 laps to go, which bunched the field back together for the stretch-run of the race. Andretti restarted in the sixth position, but jumped to the high side of the racetrack as the green flag brought the field back up to speed. During the first lap after the restart, Andretti charged into the second spot behind eventual winner Travis Gregg. The move was reminiscent of those made by one of Andretti's AGR mentors, Tony Kanaan, who has earned a reputation for making huge track position gains at the start of some events. Kanaan, who was watching the race from Andretti's pit box, grinned as he looked on.
"That was 'TK-style,'" said Kanaan.
A late-race battle with Wade Cunningham ended at the start/finish line on the final lap with Cunningham edging Andretti by two-and-a-half inches for the runner-up spot.
Andretti, who is the 18-year old son of Andretti Green Racing co-owner Michael Andretti and the grandson of Mario Andretti, makes his next Pro Series appearance at Infineon Raceway on Aug.28.
Marco Andretti, #26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone: "Things were looking good at the start, but then we developed some understeer on that long run. I did everything I could in the cockpit to dial it out, but then all it did was make it loose in the middle of the corner and it didn't really do anything to help the understeer. I was just really hoping for a restart and eventually we got what we needed."
(WHAT WAS YOUR STRATEGY ON THE RESTART?) "Just go for it and don't lift."
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