An Andretti wins first Indy 500 pole for family in 33 years

Marco Andretti has won the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in a lightning-fast first step toward snapping the infamous “Andretti Curse” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Posted: Aug 16, 2020 3:30 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Marco Andretti has won the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in a lightning-fast first step toward snapping the infamous “Andretti Curse” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Andretti logged a four-lap average of 231.068 mph in Sunday qualifying, and an Andretti now will lead the field to green for the first time in 33 years. Mario Andretti won his third and final pole for the Indy 500 in 1987, when grandson Marco was an infant.

As his grandson surveyed the conditions before Sunday qualifying, noting the wind had picked up from a day earlier when Marco Andretti was the fastest in the field, he remembered advice Mario Andretti has long shared with the racing family.

“He said, ‘The wind will scare you, but it will never crash you,’” Marco Andretti said, tears in his eyes and his hands appearing to briefly shake.

The third-generation driver was greeted by his Andretti Autosport teammates, then shared a strong embrace with his father, Michael, the team owner. Mario Andretti scored the only Indy 500 win for the family in 1969; Michael Andretti fell short in 16 tries and the Aug. 23 race will be Marco Andretti’s 15th attempt.

“Fantastic. It was unbelievable,” Michael Andretti said. “He didn’t take his foot off the gas.”

Andretti Autosport had claimed four positions in Sunday’s fast nine shootout that sets the first three rows for the Indy 500. But teammates James Hinchcliffe, Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay didn’t have the same speed they did Saturday, and Michael Andretti feared his team would be shut out from the front row.

Scott Dixon posted a four-lap average of 231.051 mph to take over the top spot and held it until Marco Andretti went out last. His first two laps were blistering and he said he really began to feel the wind on the second lap. Andretti held it open and powered through for a momentous achievement for the Andretti family.

“He deserves it. I know what this place means to his family and especially him,” Dixon said. “He did a good job even under this pressure to make it work. If anyone was going to do it, I hoped it was Marco.”

Nearly every driver in the field made their way to pit lane to congratulate Andretti, who like his father has been haunted at Indianapolis. Marco Andretti has never finished higher than third in the race. His father, who never won a pole, finished second in 1991.

“An Andretti on the pole at Indianapolis — too bad we couldn’t hear the crowd explode,” teammate Hunter-Reay said. The 104th Indy 500 will be the first in race history without spectators as the coronavirus pandemic forced new track owner Roger Penske to close the gates to the public.

Andretti will sit on the front row alongside two former Indy 500 winners. Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing qualified second and Takuma Sato was third for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Rinus VeeKay, a 19-year-old rookie for Ed Carpenter Racing, was fourth and the only Chevrolet driver in the fast nine. Hunter-Reay and Hinchcliffe filled out the second row.

Alex Palou, a rookie for Dale Coyne Racing, was seventh and will start alongside Graham Rahal and Rossi.

West Lafayette
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: °
Kokomo
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 41°
Rensselaer
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Fowler
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 39°
Williamsport
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 40°
Crawfordsville
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 38°
Frankfort
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: °
Delphi
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 46°
Monticello
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 46°
Logansport
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 43°
Remaining Dry and Trending Warmer for the Upcoming Work Week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 110759

Reported Deaths: 3503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20645758
Lake10172317
Elkhart6321108
St. Joseph600797
Allen5921200
Hamilton4646109
Vanderburgh327129
Hendricks2638121
Monroe236836
Johnson2250122
Tippecanoe218413
Clark210156
Porter203344
Cass19279
Delaware184261
Vigo175722
Madison156575
LaPorte135637
Floyd130061
Howard127063
Kosciusko118717
Bartholomew114557
Warrick111935
Marshall98024
Boone94446
Dubois94018
Hancock90042
Noble87632
Grant86733
Henry75424
Wayne73714
Jackson7319
Morgan69438
Shelby66329
Daviess63927
LaGrange62911
Dearborn62128
Clinton59112
Harrison55624
Putnam5209
Montgomery50221
Lawrence50028
White47814
Knox4769
Gibson4644
Decatur45339
DeKalb44211
Miami4223
Fayette41713
Greene41535
Jasper3802
Steuben3647
Scott35310
Sullivan32812
Jennings30812
Posey2940
Franklin29325
Clay2925
Orange28224
Ripley2788
Carroll26913
Wabash2608
Washington2571
Starke2487
Wells2472
Whitley2476
Adams2403
Jefferson2403
Fulton2302
Huntington2173
Spencer2154
Tipton21522
Randolph2067
Perry20213
Newton17011
Jay1680
Owen1641
Martin1590
Rush1494
Pike1361
Vermillion1250
Fountain1152
Blackford1142
Pulaski1131
Crawford1020
Brown1013
Parke932
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland680
Warren401
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events