With 2010 pretty much lost, Andretti looking ahead to 2011 A distant ninth in the standings halfway through his fifth season in the IndyCar Series, Marco Andretti knows his chance at the overall title has long since vanished.
"A shot at the championship? Nah. From here on out it's about winning races and just kind of going for it, getting what we can at the end of the year," Andretti said as he prepared for Sunday's Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International. "I'm going to be realistic. A couple of wins would be nice. I still think that's definitely possible, so that's the goal."
The series begins a stretch of five events on road and street courses, and Andretti has a pair of top-threes in the past three races as he tries to rebound from a season that went awry at the start.
In the season-opener in Brazil, the 23-year-old Andretti was involved in a first-lap crash caused by poor visibility. Mario Moraes spun and smacked the back of Andretti's slowing No. 26 as they approached the first chicane after the start, and Moraes' car ended up on top of Andretti's.
Andretti walked away relatively unscathed, but his 23rd-place finish, ahead of only Moraes, placed him far behind in a series that has become extremely competitive. There have been seven different winners in the first eight events, making it difficult to gain ground.
"When we came out of the box with a car on my head at the start of the race in Brazil, it's been nothing but catch-up since," he said. "We've been marching forward every weekend. We've just got to keep doing it."
With nine races left in the 17-race season, Andretti has 184 points and trails IndyCar leader Will Power by 90 points. Among Andretti's teammates at Andretti Autosport, Danica Patrick also is out of contention, sitting 11th with 174 points, while only Tony Kanaan (229 points) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (224) are within striking distance.
"It gets to a point in the championship where you've got to be realistic," said Kanaan, who notched his first victory of the season two weeks ago at Iowa. "I'm very close, so he (Marco) will be doing some work for next year for us and I'll be trying to do the work for this year with Ryan. Marco, trust me, is not giving up." SI.com