It was the best race Marco Andretti has driven all season and maybe in a couple of years but his finish certainly didn’t represent his effort.
After charging from 14th to fourth Sunday afternoon, Andretti had to pit for a splash of fuel with two laps left because his Oberto Honda was out of fuel. It dropped him to 10th place.
“I saw the collector light come on with two laps to go and my heart sunk,” said the third generation driver from Nazareth, Pa., whose race was ruined by what one mechanic described as “human error.”
“We should have maybe had a shot at the podium but definitely finished fourth.”
After practicing in the top five Friday and early Saturday, the 32-year-old veteran wound up qualifying 14th but the slippery Toronto track played to his strengths as his pounced on drivers sliding around. He staged a terrific duel with 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato for fourth before finally getting past going into Turn 3 on Lap 40.
“Everybody had a ton of pickup on their tires, so it made it a lot of fun when people were sliding around and we were able to capitalize,” he continued. “We’re had good street course pace all year and we’re just not doing what we need to do as far as results. Pretty disappointing, to be honest.”
After winning the pole at Detroit and leading the first 22 laps, Andretti had to settle for fourth in that doubleheader opener because of differing strategies but he never got passed on the track. At the green flag Sunday he was on the move and started picking off competitors lap by lap.
“We had top-four pace all weekend, except in qualifying, and we were pretty good on cold tires,” said Andretti, whose last win came in 2011. “I just hate it for my team and it’s really disappointing.”