News & Multimedia

Adam Andretti Savors Long-Awaited First Chance To Add to Family Legacy at Indy

This took too much time, he admits, especially considering he’s from a famous racing family defined by exploits at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but another Andretti is finally experiencing his ultimate dream this weekend.

And the night before turning his first practice laps at IMS on Friday morning, Adam Andretti couldn’t sleep.

“I’ve waited a lot longer than anyone else in my family,” said Andretti, the two-time series runner-up in TA2 class of the Trans Am presented by Pirelli series. “Nobody else had to wait 38 years to get here.”

Trans Am’s debut in the fourth annual Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational provides Andretti, the 38-year-old son of Aldo Andretti, the chance to race where he’s always wanted Sunday afternoon. All of the Andrettis texted or phoned with advice and the reminder to “enjoy the moment” — older brother John, uncle Mario, first cousins Michael and Jeff as well as Marco, his first cousin once removed.

“You’d have to really be born under a rock in our family to not know what this place means to our family and really what this place has done for us,” said Adam Andretti, who lives in nearby Brownsburg, Indiana. “Every one of us knows it was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that made the Andrettis, not the other way around. It’s so special to be a part of that. It truly is. You can’t really put it into words. I don’t think anyone in our family could put into words what their first laps were like around this place because it’s so special.

“We’re the first session out at 8 (Friday) morning. That’s to the chagrin of a lot of drivers. For me, I couldn’t get to sleep Thursday night. I was up way early Friday morning because I couldn’t get here soon enough. This moment couldn’t have happened soon enough for me.”

Marco offered specific input on negotiating the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course. Adam also sought out other Verizon IndyCar Series drivers.

But all of that inside knowledge got ignored on the initial lap in his No. 44 Engineer Components Company Motorsports Dodge Challenger.

“You take that first trip down the front straightaway, for me personally, I blew the braking zone into Turn 1 because I was taking it all in,” Adam said, chuckling. “Then after that, you have to realize: ‘It’s down to business. I’ve got to get my head wrapped around this and do it right.’”

He didn’t need to use the bail out area beyond Turn 1, but conceded the brakes were seriously tested.

“I made it, but there was a big cloud of smoke going in there,” Adam said.

He ranked eighth out of 26 cars in that first practice, then sixth in Saturday morning’s second practice. In 39 career series starts, Andretti has five wins and 20 top-three finishes.

“I need laps more than I need to work on the race car, so I just stayed out there and ran laps,” he said of Friday’s session. “That proved to be the way to go. You just need laps around this place.

“It’s flat, but it’s still tricky. Everything about Indianapolis just seems to be tricky, right? It’s a simple four corners around the oval? But you talk to any driver who has run here, it’s the most difficult four corners you will ever drive. This road course is no different. It looks so simple. There’s 14 turns, but it’s flat, no undulations, nothing blind, nothing crazy. But it’s Indianapolis, so it’s tricky. It’s got its tricky spots. It’s fun to figure out. I’ve had a lot more fun than I anticipated on the road course.”

His father, Aldo, and other family members will attend the race Sunday. But Adam realizes some schedules are compromised. John is on the road in Pennsylvania to support his 24-year-old son, Jarett, who is racing USAC sprint cars. Michael and Marco have a weekend off, their first since early May, so Adam isn’t expecting to see them.

What’s evident is Adam intends to savor every minute of the experience. He had always envisioned going the other direction at IMS, zooming into Turn 1 on the oval for the Indy 500, but being here this weekend is meaningful enough.

“I tell people all the time, ‘Our family has done great things in motorsport, amazing accomplishments that the fact that you even ask how I’m related shows that,’” he said.

One month after Michael celebrated his fifth career Indy 500 victory as a team owner with Takuma Sato, a familiar question is posed to another Andretti: What would it mean to win at Indy?

“Everything,” Adam said. “I think any of them would tell you if there was a tricycle race out here, we’d train for it.”

Visit IMS.com to order tickets or learn more about the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational. Ticket prices are $30 Saturday and $20 Sunday. Kids 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Adam Andretti
 
Adam Andretti Savors Long-Awaited First Chance To Add to Family Legacy at Indy
Trans Am’s debut in the fourth annual Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational provides Andretti, the 38-year-old son of Aldo Andretti, the chance to race where he’s always wanted Sunday afternoon. All of the Andrettis texted or phoned with advice and the reminder to “enjoy the moment” — older brother John, uncle Mario, first cousins Michael and Jeff as well as Marco, his first cousin once removed.
Read More
Related Media
Takuma Sato Marmom Wasp
 
Sato Revels in Indianapolis 500 History with Marmon Wasp
On the eve of seeing his likeness unveiled on the Borg-Warner Trophy as the latest Indianapolis 500 winner, Takuma Sato had the opportunity to sit where it all began.
Read More
Kyle Kaiser
 
Kaiser, Juncos Racing Reveal Four-Race Verizon IndyCar Series Plan for 2018
Kyle Kaiser will remain in familiar surroundings when he makes his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in 2018. Juncos Racing, the team for which Kaiser has driven the past four years as he climbed the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires ladder, announced today that it will field the reigning Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion for four Verizon IndyCar Series races next season.
Read More
Robert Wickens
 
Wickens Joins Hinchcliffe at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2018 IndyCar Season
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced its lineup for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Oakville, Ontario native James Hinchcliffe has renewed his contract with the Indianapolis-based team in a multi-year extension, and the 2011 IndyCar Rookie of the Year’s teammate will be countryman and friend Robert Wickens, a native of Guelph. The duo marks the first all-Canadian lineup in North American open-wheel racing since 2004 (Champ Car; Forsythe Racing: Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier).
Read More
Takuma Sato
 
Sato Shines with Gratitude during Unveiling of Likeness on Borg-Warner Trophy
Sato repeated what he had told sculptor Will Behrends when examining a clay likeness during a visit to the artist’s workshop in Tryon, N.C.: “He’s actually a better guy.” It’s the 28th likeness Behrends has sculpted.
Read More
Martin Sonka
 
Sonka Keeps Cool As World Championship Showdown Looms on Race Day
Martin Sonka doesn’t even want to think about the obvious, let alone discuss it. But there’s only so much reality he can block out. Sonka, the Master Class points-leading pilot from the Czech Republic, can claim his first World Championship with a victory in the Red Bull Air Race on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,798
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21