Marco Andretti’s NASCAR debut didn’t exactly go as planned. The two-time IndyCar winner and grandson of the legendary Mario Andretti made his first NASCAR start in Saturday’s Xfinity race on the ROVAL at Charlotte.
Andretti started 30th in the 38-car field and for much of the race seemed to be holding his own. But on lap 45 of the 72 run his Big Machine Chevy got loose trying to avoid a stopped car coming out of the chicane and slid up hard into the outside wall, ending his day and leaving him 36th.
Andretti had some recent success in stock cars. He won the SRX title this past season and won it during the final race where he ran high enough to secure the title despite breaking his wrist during a crash where his thumb got caught in the steering wheel.
Saturday, he seemed to indicate on his team radio that he hurt his wrist again when he hit the wall. However, this time, unlike his last SRX race, he avoided injury.
“My reflexes were a little better this time,” he said after getting cleared from the infield medical center. “I got caught in my thumb, but I got it out. But, yeah, I was worried about that.”
As for his early ending:
“I didn’t know anybody was sitting in the middle of the track, three cars up,” he said. “Of course, my luck, it’s the only car corner that the spotter couldn’t see. So, unfortunately, I didn’t get help there, but, it was, it was fun up until that point.
“I needed laps and I just wanted to be out there for this type of carnage, and I ended up being one of the casualties. So it’s a bummer. “
As he indicated, his first day in NASCAR might not have ended well, he did have some fun.
Your first day in NASCAR didn’t end well. Was it fun at some points this weekend?
“Yeah, it was just starting to be,” he said. “I just didn’t have enough time at all, you know, learning the car, end the track, it was a pretty steep learning curve, I just wanted to survive, and it was a bummer. We just got caught out. But it was definitely starting to get fun there.”
And will he be making a return to NASCAR?
“Oh, I’d love to, yeah,” Andretti said. “We’ll just have to look at it.”
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