New Season, New Deal For Marco Andretti

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Marco Andretti
Marco Andretti is hoping for a strong season with Bryan Herta calling the shots for him. (Al Steinberg Photo)

Bryan Herta is calling the shots for the Andretti Autosport Indy car driven by Marco Andretti this season.

Andretti finished 16th in the standings last season and started this year with a seventh-place finish during the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

“Right after the checkered flag at Sonoma last year I was ready to redeem myself,” Andretti explained. “There are a lot of good things happening. Having Bryan is going to bring the fun back into it. I have improved myself as far as my driving. Physically, I’m in the best shape of my life and mentally I’m strong. The team has made some gains. We actually had proven it even after last year. If we all make gains, I believe it can be a pretty big one.”

During the offseason, Andretti Autosport brought in Eric Bretzman from Chip Ganassi Racing as the team’s technical director.

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“He is awesome,” Andretti said. “I’m a big Eric fan. He definitely thinks outside of the box and knows when to make big changes and when to just massage it. He is a very, very smart guy.

“To be honest with you that was sort of our problem,” Andretti continued. “As a team we were searching for too much mechanical grip last year and not thinking about the stability aspect of things. You get a lot of grip from the aero kits and we were not using the aero as much as some of the other guys.

“I’m really optimistic about that side of things, too.”

More importantly, Andretti wants to quit being so hard on himself. The two-time Verizon IndyCar Series race winner knows how important it is that he finally develops into a more competitive driver.

“I had to remove myself because it’s a tough cycle to break,” Andretti said. “You’re not a competitor if you are not angry when things aren’t going right, but if you are angry you’re not going to go fast. You really need a solid reset button in your head and to not carry things forward.

“I drive frustrated and I don’t want to go into a season saying I have to do this and it has to be my best year. It’s obvious that I need to do that. I’m really happy right now with the 27 car. Now, we just have to have fun along the way.”