Marco Andretti will seek to break the so-called Andretti Curse in the Indianapolis 500 by running a throwback livery that pays tribute to grandfather Mario’s triumph in the 1969 Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Remarkably, the eldest Andretti only won the marquee showcase at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway once between 1965 and 1994, doing so in the Andy Granatelli STP-sponsored Clint Brawner-designed Hawk III-Ford.

His son, Michael, earned 42 Indy car victories and led 431 laps, the most all-time by a non-winner. His grandson, Marco, has led 141 laps. An Andretti has yet to win since that 1969 race, even though the Andretti Autosport organization has won five times.

Thus, 50 years later, the team and its youngest racing namesake will channel the colors of that iconic car during the month of May.

“I’m really happy we were able to pull this off,” said Marco who co-owns his No. 98 entry along with father Michael and Bryan Herta. “The color will be hard to miss on track and the car looks great. We’re all very thankful that U.S. Concrete was on board to run the livery and make this year’s car as special as possible. We can’t wait to have a shot at bringing this car to victory lane on May 26.”

The car even mimics the black block around the number, a classic Firestone logo and the initials FB for Frank Boeninghaus -- engine supplier for the Hawk.

The paint scheme was made possible by U.S. Concrete’s chairman CEO Bill Sandbrook, who sponsors the car.

“Marco Andretti is not only a great ambassador for IndyCar racing but for our safety and hiring initiatives as well. His excitement to honor his grandfather continues to show how dedicated he is to honoring his family’s legacy,” Sandbrook said.

“We knew that partnering with the Andretti Autosport team was the best vehicle for us to successfully deliver our sponsorship objectives and this tribute is a shining example of what the entire Andretti family means to auto racing.”

For his part, Mario says he is full of pride.

“The effort his team is going through to present this commemorative car is flattering,” he said. “Thank you to the team for that effort and also for acknowledging my part in Indy 500 history.

“I am honored to have Marco carry the design from my 1969 car. I hope this winning paint scheme will be a good omen for him and that he’ll get his first 500 victory. When I see the car, it will definitely be an opportunity for reflection. It’s humbling. It is a tremendous compliment to me that this team would look back at my victory and find it worthy of recognition.”

Source: Autoweek

April 18, 2019