Nazareth, Pennsylvania-native Marco Andretti has spent his entire career racing full-time in the NTT IndyCar Series, so you wouldn’t expect him to excel in a full-bodied stock car at a quarter-mile short track like Slinger Speedway, but as he’s done throughout the entire summer, the grandson of Daytona 500 Champion Mario Andretti , has continued to be one of the best surprises in the Camping World SRX Series.
Andretti started the evening with a bang, dominating the first 12-minute heat race of the night at Slinger Speedway. After the field was inverted to start the second heat, the 34-year-old was able to work his way back into sixth-place, tying him with Luke Fenhaus and Tony Stewart for the best average finish in the heat races, placing the Black No. 98 on the pole for the feature race.
Throughout the 150-lap feature event on Saturday Night, the North American Motor Car sponsored entry was able to stay inside the top-five and continue studying the track and learning from the likes of Tony Stewart and 2021 Slinger Nationals Champion Luke Fenhaus. So, when contact between Hailie Deegan and Paul Tracy triggered a five-car accident on the “final lap” of the event, the ensuing green-white-checkered finish was Andretti’s opportunity to make it happen, and that’s exactly what he did.
“Hometown Hero” Luke Fenhaus finished in the runner-up position, with Tony Stewart, Hailie Deegan and Bobby Labonte rounded out the top-five finishers in the feature race. Ernie Francis Jr, Willy T. Ribbs, Greg Biffle, Bill Elliott, Helio Castroneves, Paul Tracy and Michael Waltrip rounded out the 12-car field.
For Andretti, his success, combined with the amount of fun he’s having, has drawn him to consider competing in NASCAR’s top-three series. In fact, in a media availability on Wednesday Afternoon, Andretti mentioned that he is currently in the closing stages of putting together a deal to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series later this season.
The Camping World SRX Series will conclude its inaugural season next Saturday Night (June 17) at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, which will see 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott compete against his father, Bill Elliott, for only the second time in their racing careers. In addition to the youngest Elliott, Hailie Deegan will take the 12th and final spot in the season-finale.