Honda disadvatage at Indy 500 still has Andretti frustrated

By Josh Farmer, Journalist

Marco Andretti finished sixth at this year’s Indianapolis 500 and when talking the media during the NASCAR weekend at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend, the third-generation IndyCar star was still clearly frustrated by the result.

Chevrolet swept nine of the top 11 spots with Graham Rahal leading the Honda charge in fifth and Andretti followed close behind.

Over the course of the season Honda only managed to celebrate six wins on the 16 race schedule. However, Andretti knows the performance Japanese manufacturer’s was more of a struggle than the results show.

“Some we won, weren’t… one was a pack race (Fontana), (which is) anyone’s game,” Andretti said. “Pocono was a lot of people out. Ryan (Hunter-Reay) drove a hell of a race.”

Some of those victories at Honda were at rain soaked events, including NOLA Motorsports Park and the opening duel in Detroit at Belle Isle, where Andretti’s teammate Carlos Munoz took his first career win.

IndyCar has since allowed Honda to make modifications to their short track, road and street course aero kit, under Rule 9.3, but Andretti remains mindful about the upcoming season following some off season testing at Mid-Ohio and Road America.

“That’s all I can say without my engineer killing me,” Andretti said. “Most (is being made up) on the road course side. I can’t say we’re totally equal on speedways. There’s a bit of politics involved.”

Leading into the 100th Indianapolis 500 next May, the 28-year-old wants to have those issues cleared up in order to be competitive.

“I don’t want politics to hinder my chance at winning that race, you know?” Andretti said. “It’s the 100th Indy 500, that could be the face for the next 100 years. To be at a disadvantage there would be disappointing.”

Josh Farmer joined the media center in 2012 after first discovering his love of IndyCar racing in 2004 at Auto Club Speedway. He has been an accredited member of the IndyCar media center since 2014 and also contributes to IndyCar.com along with The Motorsports Tribune.

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