The younger Andretti, who finished runner-up in his first ever Indy 500, has also three times finished the race in third, but has started from the front row of the three-by-three grid on only one previous occasion.
Today, his #98 Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco and Curb Agajanian entry edged Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon by 0.017mph over the four-lap run. With father Michael having never earned P1 at the Brickyard, it was the first time the Andretti name had topped qualifying here since Mario earned his third pole in 1987.
Marco Andretti had finished both practice days this week in the top three, and took provisional pole on Saturday, leading an Andretti Autosport 1-2-3-4. Asked by Motorsport.com how much he had considered the various setups run by his teammates – who flattered to deceive when it mattered in Fast Nine qualifying today (P5, P6, P9) – Andretti said that hadn’t been a factor.
“I always find I do better just focusing on what my car needs and we kept it really close to home,” he said. “My grandfather gave me good advice: ‘Let them beat you, don’t dial yourself out. You already know what you have, do it again. Let them try to dial themselves out chasing, right?’
“Good advice so We kept it close to home. I knew it was going to be tougher today with the…