INDIANAPOLIS — Marco Andretti is stepping away from a full time seat in the NTT IndyCar Series. The third generation driver announced on Friday that he’s not going to race full time anymore. He will however still race in the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May while also being open to other select races in the process.
The only time the car will be running is with Marco in it.
Michael Andretti said that they were working on a full time seat for Marco but it was ultimately Marco that decided that he wanted to take a different direction now.
“Marco and I have discussed this at length,” Michael Andretti said. “I both support and respect his decision to take a focus on other areas of life and maybe even other forms of motorsport. We were working on a full-season INDYCAR entry for him, but he decided he wanted to take a different direction and I respect him for making that decision.
“I think for any multi generational athlete, it can be really challenging to find your own ground and make your own name on top of your family’s. Marco has always had the courage to chart his own path and I’m proud of the career he’s built for himself and the person he’s become. I know this decision wasn’t easy.
“But, like he has said, this is not retirement. He has some great accomplishments behind him and I think he still has many more ahead of him. He’s offered to help us out with some testing. I’m looking forward to having him back with us for the 500 and hopefully maybe a few more races through the season.”
We do know Colton Herta is in the No. 26 Honda. Alexander Rossi was already signed for the No. 27 Honda. On Thursday, Ryan Hunter-Reay was confirmed to be back in the No. 28 Honda for 2021. Gainbridge is on Herta, NAPA/AutoNation for Rossi and DHL/AutoNation for Hunter-Reay.
Now, the fourth car is the question? James Hinchcliffe is the favorite to be in it, but which car is it? Do they run the No. 88 Honda in conjunction with Harding Steinbrenner Racing again? Do they run the No. 29 full time instead and leave that car for someone else?
There’s more questions than answers right now. The only definite is that Andretti isn’t full time and the 98 is his car only.
Andretti’s made 248 career starts in the series and has scored two career wins in the sport. This was going to be his 16th season already. But, his biggest moment has to be the pole for last August’s 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500.