Let the haters hate, Andretti’s focus is unshakable

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Like you needed more proof that this current Verizon IndyCar Series field of talent is stacked – we have yet another pole winner for the Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. Marco Andretti, piloting the No. 26 AutoNation Andretti Autosport Honda, ran in Group 2 this morning, battling his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay and rookie Robert WIckens for the P1 Award. The three kept outdoing each other, with the fastest speed switching almost lap after lap, until the very last one. 17 drivers in 24 races here have led the field to green, and in this year alone the series itself  has seen 7 different drivers in the first 7 races.

Dude. That’s awesome. Just in case you didn’t know.

Andretti seemed re-energized by this pole win. He’s ready to win races and said he felt like a switch flipped when it happened – that not only do they need to and have a legit chance at winning this race today, but it seems to have reignited his passion and drive for doing exactly that in the future.

“It could be big. Especially if we can get the win. Indy hurts me to have slipped back from running in the top group to 12th. And it’s double points so it really hurt me in the championship. Now I just want to win races and hopefully it translates into clawing my way back through the standings.”

Sometimes you need a taste of the prize to get your appetite going. Heck, I know I’m like that sometimes. The off-season can put me in a funk where I don’t feel connected to racing, it’s like a seasonal depression! I start to second guess if I should keep doing what I do. And then I get back to a track and it’s like a swift smack upside my head like… uhm, yes, obviously. This is where I feel alive. Being here in this capacity is where my soul feels happy.

Maybe being at the front of the field today will have the same effect on Marco. Breathing in that clean air and remembering how it feels to charge, with the whole field behind him. And maybe that will help feed his drive and make him more determined than ever. I honestly hope that’s the case.

2018 DETROIT GRAND PRIX QUALIFICATIONS RESULTS – RACE 1

2018 DETROIT GRAND PRIX STARTING LINE UP TIRE DESIGNATION- RACE 1

For whatever reason, not everyone feels that way. There are an odd number of series ‘fans’ that put out  negative comments about Marco, and can’t even reel it in when he has a great result like this morning. I find that shameful.

But hey, maybe I’m assuming too much. I’m sure all of those folks that rip on him are at the top of their game in their chosen professions. I’m sure they’ve spent the entirety of their lives honing said craft. I’m sure they have the pressure of a physically and mentally taxing job that could possibly take their life or injure them, but they have such a passion and deeply-rooted love of it that the benefits outweigh the risks. And I’m sure their family is in the public eye and they have been open to scrutiny from strangers since they were in diapers, too. I mean, I can only assume they know exactly what it’s like to walk in Marco’s shoes, right? Otherwise, how could they be so continually cruel and sarcastic?

Right.

I for one am very happy for Marco Andretti and I think there are more folks out there that like to see him doing well today, than those that choose not to root him on or even acknowledge a job well done for some indecipherable reason.

Marco has a very loyal fan base and I’m glad to say I’ve met a few of them and they were, like most of our series’ fans, genuinely nice people with a love of the sport, crazy levels of knowledge on the history of it, and they actually enjoy seeing drivers succeed in racing. Crazy! Let’s hope that those positive-minded folks are the voices that become more prevalent on social media.

Sure, maybe I’m delusional to think that positivity could outweigh negativity – especially in a social media realm. But I’ll gladly take that label if it means I can maintain my hope.

Hope and passion are what create action, and action gets results. Much like Marco Andretti and his result of a Verizon P1 Award today in Detroit for Race 1. And that’s a result that he, the series and the fans should all be proud of.

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Photo credit: Shay Hazen / Live Full Throttle

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