INDIANAPOLIS — The year was 1987. The Simpson’s debuted their first season. Danny Tanner was cleaning his household for the first time as a single father raising three girls in San Francisco. Aretha Franklin sung her way as an inductee into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. A gallon of gas cost 89 cents. A dozen eggs was 65 cents. Stamps were 24 cents.
An hour south of here, the Indiana Hoosiers raised their last national championship banner. In May of that year, Mario Andretti was tearing up the Indianapolis Motor Speedway looking like he would win his second career Indy 500.
Unfortunately, he had a mechanical failure while leading with 23 laps-to-go and wouldn’t win on what was a dominating month of May for the patriarch of the Andretti family.
Fast forward to 2020.
A pandemic has ensued. A gallon of gas will cost you about $2 here in Indiana. Stamps, well lets not get started on stamps since there’s a large debate on mail in voting for November’s election. But, another Andretti is eerily tearing up the same 2.5-mile track that his grandfather did 33 years ago.
Marco Andretti, 33 years old at that, was born on March 13 of that year. He has a similar week of practice leading up to qualifying this year as his grandpa did in ’87.
Mario, was first, third, first, first, first and first respectively in his six days of practice heading into qualifying that year. He blew everyone out of the water on Fast Friday.
This year, Marco was second, third and first in the abbreviated practice schedule this month. He blew everyone out of the water on Fast Friday with the fastest practice lap here in 24 years.
On Saturday, he was fastest in opening day of Indy 500 Time Trials. On Sunday, he had to do it all over again in the Fast Nine Shootout.
Like is grandpa did in ’87, Marco did in 2020. For the first time since that day in 1987, an Andretti is on the pole at Indy.
Marco, turned in a thrilling four lap average of 231.068 mph in his No. 98 Honda to grab his first career Indy 500 pole. That’s something his father Michael never accomplished in his career here.
Marco, narrowly beat Scott Dixon, a five time series champion, by just .017 mph to earn his sixth career Indy Car pole.
The stars are aligning for an Andretti win here. It’s 2020 right. Could the demons of the Andretti Curse be swept away on Aug. 23 from Marco giving them their first win in this historic race sine 1969?
So far, it looks like it.