Photo: Chris Owens/INDYCAR

Marco Andretti Scores Top 10 Finish in Crash-Filled Texas Race

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

FORT WORTH, Texas – It was far from ideal, but Marco Andretti scrapped to a sixth-place effort Saturday night in the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

In a race that saw nine cautions stretch 66 laps, the 30-year-old Pennsylvania native started 15th and dodged the mayhem for the most part en route to his third, and much needed, top 10 finish of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Much was made on Friday after practice and qualifying from several drivers on the lack of optimism that a second lane would open up in Turns 1 and 2, which were widened from 60 to 80 feet and dropped from 24 to 20 degrees.

Although some drivers were able to make the high line work, it still wasn’t enough to lessen drivers being aggressive throughout the 248-lap contest.

“It was like one and a half grooves. If you got just the right front up on the marbles a little bit, it was gone.”

The last car on the lead lap, Andretti was one of only eight drivers to be running at the finish on a night that featured improving levels of close and intense racing as it progressed.

“It was absolute mayhem,” said Andretti, driver of the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda.

“It’s just a crap shoot on whether you get through it or not. The good Lord was looking after us, probably about 50 times tonight. I mean, pieces flying past my head and cars crashing, it was pretty crazy. It was a survival-type day. We had a one lane car, so I couldn’t really pass cars. We were fast, but every time I got the run and popped, we would lose all the grip.

“We were a one lane car, so I just had to file in.”

The result moves the third-generation driver up 13th in the championship standings, just 22 points out of the top 10.

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.