SPEEDWAY, IN—One of the most popular drivers year-in, year-out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have to once again go through a little drama on Bump Day. John Andretti is not among the 24 qualifiers who made the field Saturday, but he is confident in his chances to make the final nine on Bump Day.
"We went back out and the car had some good speed to it. It's no Helio Castroneves kind of speed, but it's good speed, but I think tomorrow should be no problem," said Andretti late Saturday afternoon, positive despite going through a week that has had quite a few difficult moments.
"Coming into today I was really concerned about top 33. We just couldn't find the speed," lamented Andretti when discussing his troubles earlier in the week. "Now it seems to be picking up and is quite a bit quicker than it was and doesn't drive any different, actually I think they drive a little bit better the faster they go."
Andretti hopes to make his 11th Indy 500 start next Sunday afternoon, and first for Andretti Autosport, the team run by his cousin Michael. Saturday will not go down as one of the more memorable pole days for the team, as Tony Kanaan crashed during qualifying, while Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Danica Patrick failed to make the nine-driver pole shootout. There will likely be better days ahead for Andretti Autosport and John hopes that starts Sunday.
"We either all succeed together or we don't, so we need to pull together and stay strong. Tony will come out tomorrow and be the team leader that he's always been, and hopefully we'll be able to follow suit and make the race and we'll all be in good shape."
While some of his teammates were busy blaming others for their failures Saturday, it was good to see Indianapolis native John Andretti display true professionalism despite dealing with similar frustrations in the garage.