INDIANAPOLIS — Marco Andretti has collected three top-10 finishes in the first three races of the IZOD IndyCar Series season and believes he has a chance to challenge for the series title.
That’s a fast start for a driver who generally struggles early in the season.
“This is what used to be the weakest part of the schedule for me, and I find myself just a few points out of the point lead,” said the Andretti Autosport driver. “I’m super thrilled about my progress in the off-season. Working on these weak points I think definitely has helped, but it’s definitely good to see results translate through.”
Andretti is optimistic about the remainder of the campaign.
“I think if I keep driving the way we’ve been, I think the podiums and the wins will come. Like I said, I’m pleased with my performance so far. But obviously it’s still early,” Andretti said. “I’ve worked on my street courses in the offseason in a big way. Really I need to give my teammates credit, especially Ryan (Hunter-Reay). He adapted to the street courses a lot better than I did. I was really over-driving the car. In the off-season I really studied how I was over-driving the car. It ended up working against me, causing more problems for myself, leaving me on the outside looking in.
“This year, qualifying, there’s a couple hundredths of a second out of the top six, but it’s a lot better than looking in on the top 12, which is where we were last year.
I think we’ve improved. But to get wins we just need to keep driving the way we are.”
Andretti acknowledged he’s not put it all together during his IndyCar career.
“I always knew I was a decent driver, I just needed to put it all together basically,” he explained. “I’m yet to do that. Until I start clicking off poles and wins on street courses, then I’ll sleep a lot better than I am at night.
“However, I am sleeping better than I was last year. I think just that alone, those notches on the belt help. You know what I mean? You can’t explain it. It all just starts coming together. Obviously it’s still way early in the season, but I feel a lot better on my outlook for the season. This is the first time I can actually say that I can see myself winning this championship.”