After restarting fifth on the final restart on Lap 84, Andretti said he conserved his tires while others pushed their tires. He overtook Kanaan for fourth place with five laps to go and then passed de Silvestro two laps later as the KV Racing Technology pair faded as their tires started to wear.
“I knew her tires were going away. She was braking really early,” Andretti said. “It’s a selfish business. I felt for her but I needed this so bad. I saw both of them struggling to keep their cars underneath them. I was able to stay with them while really taking it easy on my rear tires because I knew it was going to come down to the last few laps. It was that whole middle of that stint that kind of got me the podium. I think when they were pushing I was kind of cruising, holding the gap to (Scott) Dixon, as well. I think I had more at the end.”
The podium finish also gives Andretti the confidence to know he can contend for race wins on street courses as well as ovals, where he was strong in 2012.
“It’s all confidence,” he said. “Obviously, I finished better than wherever the heck I was last year. Hopefully, we can be part of this snowball effect that people speak of and we can just keep clicking off a lot of great results. I’ve made my improvements where I need to improve, but sometimes you don’t know why they come. You just got to keep working hard and hopefully it can snowball.”