Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Michael Andretti To Race In 2006 Indy 500

Michael Andretti will have plenty to cheer for this May. Andretti Green Racing, of which he is co-owner, will field five cars in this year's Spectacle. His son, Marco, will be driving one of those five cars and to top off the excitement, Michael himself will pilot the fifth car. This will mark the first time Michael has strapped into an Indy car since 2003. It will also mark the first time since 1994 that two generations of Andretti will compete simultaneously for the Borg Warner trophy. Michael has started 14 Indy 500s, resulting in four top-five finishes including a second place in 1991, but he has never won the fabled race.
Michael's persistance is to be admired, but it is unquestionably a lot to ask of someone to field a five-car race team, coach a son in his first Indy 500 start, enter the race themselves, and do all three effectively. While Michael himself is the only one doing the asking, it bears consideration that perhaps he may be spreading himself too thin. Regardless of Marco's incredible talent, he will hardly be on cruise control in his first Indy 500. It could be argued that waiting a year for the youngest Andretti to get his legs would allow Michael to put more effort towards his own success. On the other hand, at 43 Michael isn't getting any younger, and Andretti Green Racing is effectively at the top of the world: they are defending race champions and defending series champions. As unlikely as it would be, an off-year for AGR may take away the resources necessary for Michael's one-off attempt.
Regardless of the ultimate result, one thing certainly holds true: the more Andrettis, the better.

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