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Interview

Marco Andretti on NASCAR future: "I'm open to all of it"

Two-time IndyCar Series winner Marco Andretti calls his NASCAR experience “a different beast” but sees the potential to do more races.

Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda

The 36-year-old grandson of racing legend Mario Andretti will make his NASCAR Truck Series debut on Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Andretti, who is driving Spire Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet this weekend, performed well on the 2.26-mile, 13-turn course Friday, advancing to the final round of qualifying and will start seventh in Saturday’s race.

Andretti’s previous experience on the track – more than a dozen IndyCar starts with a best finish of sixth – definitely contributed to his comfortability.

“It’s still fun, it’s just a different beast,” he said following qualifying on Friday. “Having laps on the track definitely helped me because my learning curve was a lot steeper in the Xfinity car at the (Charlotte) Roval.

“I didn’t enjoy myself at the Roval. This is a good track; lots of laps at it. It helps I didn’t have to learn the track. I couldn’t get it rotating in Turn 6, so I think we had third or fourth potential and there’s a lot more to come from me after sleeping on it.”

Andretti has one previous NASCAR start in his career, competing in the Xfinity Series race at the Charlotte Roval last year. He finished 36th after being collected in a mid-race crash.

For the past two seasons, Andretti has competed in the six-race SRX Series, which is run on short asphalt and dirt oval tracks during the summer.

He won a race in his first season and won the series championship last year, edging NASCAR veterans Ryan Newman and Bobby Labonte. He’ll begin his third consecutive season in the series next week.

Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda qualification photo

Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda qualification photo

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

“When I went to semi-retirement, SRX was the perfect timing for that – doing six more races with my buddies, that’s fun there,” he said. “Running good at SRX opened my eyes into doing some other stuff.

“I’m really, really enjoying myself.”

Asked if more NASCAR could be in his future, Andretti said, “I’m definitely open to all of it. I think that’s the beauty of my schedule.

“That’s why I have a big smile on my face because I can still win the ‘Golden Goose’ and that’s Indy (500) for me and really take opportunities as they may come.”

NASCAR fulltime?

While Andretti said any future fulltime seasons in IndyCar are unlikely, he wouldn’t rule out one in NASCAR.

“I think the ship has sailed on me doing fulltime IndyCar. I think what it takes to be competitive there, you need everybody pulling the same road there and I think that ship’s sailed,” he said.

“You know, I’ll never say never (to NASCAR). I’m really loving the stock car stuff. So, who know if it’ll keep going?"

Marco Andretti, Big Machine Racing, Big Machine Racing Spiked Chevrolet Camaro

Marco Andretti, Big Machine Racing, Big Machine Racing Spiked Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

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