John Andretti – the nephew of the legendary Mario Andretti – has confirmed he will contest this year’s Indianapolis 500 in an entry run by his cousin Michael’s Andretti Autosports entry run in collaboration with Richard Petty Motorsports.
Petty Motorsports – more widely associated with NASCAR – has been involved in Andretti’s Indy 500 campaigns for the last two years, when the one-time CART racewinner was backed into a seat with Dreyer & Reinbold in 2009, before he switched to the Andretti team for the 2010 race.
Andretti – who turned 48 just a few days ago – crashed out of last year’s Indy 500 after finishing a promising ninth at the preceding round at Kansas, which he was competing as a warm-up event.
“As a racer, the Indianapolis 500 is something that you love to be involved in,” said Petty. “Heading back to Indy in May with John, Michael and [sponsor] Window World is the way we want to do it and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Andretti Autosports owner Michael Andretti is hoping his cousin will be a contender for a race win, possibly breaking the ‘Andretti Curse’ that has sullied the Andretti family’s luck at this oval race – keeping the Andretti surname off the top step of the podium – for over forty years.
“We learned a lot last year with John in the car and hopefully all of that will pay off for us this year,” said the one-time McLaren driver. “John is running the race for one reason and that’s to win it, so we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.”
[Original image via insidetherace]