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After F1 Snub, Michael Andretti’s NASCAR Dream Could Turn Into Reality

Published 03/08/2024, 6:44 PM EST

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The famed Andretti family has imprinted their racing legacy on American motorsports since the mid-20th century. Mario Andretti, a pioneer of the family, won his first IndyCar race in 1965 and finished third in the Indianapolis 500, which earned him Rookie of the Year honors. He also won the 1978 Formula 1 World Championship. That is why F1’s recent stance against his son, Michael Andretti, was heartbreaking for him.

Michael Andretti, who had curated a plan to foray into the European racing series in 2025 early this year, realized that the foreign turf was unwelcoming. So now his attention may be focused on expanding his racing footprint on familiar ground.

Michael Andretti is switching his focus toward American soil

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Andretti has been pursuing an entry into Formula 1 for several years. The idea was to bring Andretti Autosport in partnership with General Motors to work on the renowned series. Last year, in October, the FIA approved Andretti’s application to expand the grid by two cars as an 11th team. However, F1 dashed any hopes that were kindled.

They stated in late January this year: “Our assessment process has established that the presence of an 11th team would not, on its own, provide value to the championship.” F1 officials further added: “We do not believe that the applicant would be a competitive participant.”

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This was devastating news for Mario Andretti, the former F1 champion. He tweeted: “I’m devastated. I won’t say anything else because I can’t find any other words besides devastated.”

 

However, this may be a sign from the universe that the Andrettis are fated to excel elsewhere: NASCAR. Michael Andretti has been flirting with the idea for quite some time now. Gainbridge CEO Daniel Towriss became a co-owner of Andretti Autosport last year, along with serving as a primary sponsor for Spire Motorsports.

Quite recently, journalist Jenna Fryer hinted at a possible NASCAR entry on X. She tweeted: “Work also continues on pace on Michael Andretti’s hope to enter #NASCAR, which Andretti currently feels would be in partnership with an existing team.”

 

Yet last year, Michael Andretti also claimed that any foray into NASCAR would not affect the team’s existing ventures. They are involved in IndyCar, Indy NXT, Formula E, Extreme E, IMSA, and Supercars in Australia. But the youngest in the family is already proving himself to be a future NASCAR Cup racer.

Read More: Lawrence Stroll’s F1 Masterclass Consoles Andretti as Force India’s Past Collapse Raises Hopes for New Teams

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Marco might be the NASCAR torchbearer for the Andretti family

Marco Andretti is young and talented, and he is already proving his mettle in stock car racing. The third-generation driver recently finished in the top 20 on his Truck Series debut with Spire. He found success in the all-star SRX stock car series, winning at Slinger Speedway in 2021 and taking the overall championship last year. This year, Marco will compete in 14 ARCA Menards Series races while attempting seven NASCAR Truck Series starts.

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However, his father, a two-time IndyCar race winner, has high hopes for his son. “We’ll see how he goes. He’s going to run a few more this year, and hopefully some more other races next year. I think if everything goes well, it’s possible to see him in Cup in a year or so,” Michael Andretti said.

He is aiming his guns toward NASCAR racing, and fans are elated to watch the rich family legacy be one with the American racing series.

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Written by:

Sumedha Mukherjee

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Sumedha Mukherjee is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports who is known for her in-depth track analysis as well as her lifestyle coverage of Cup drivers like Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Inspired by the Kiwi's journey so far, Sumedha has also written pieces on Shane Van Gisbergen, predicting how the Supercars Champion would do in the new and unfamiliar American setting. Pairing her research skills with her vast experience as a writer, Sumedha creates stories her readers can easily get lost in.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta