After a late-week announcement to join the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Marco Andretti showed he was serious about his latest opportunity in the NASCAR National Series as he put his No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevy Silverado seventh in Friday’s qualifying session.
The two-time NTT IndyCar Series race winner spoke post-qualifying and said that it helped that he was already familiar with the 13-turn road course in Lexington, Ohio.
“It’s still fun. It’s just a different beast,” Andretti said of racing around the course in a NASCAR Truck as opposed to an IndyCar. “Having laps on the track definitely helped me, because my learning curve was a lot steeper in the [NASCAR] Xfinity car at the [Charlotte] ROVAL. I didn’t enjoy myself at the ROVAL. This is a real race track. [I have] Lots of laps at it. It helps that I didn’t have to learn the track, I just had to learn the truck.”
While Andretti impressed with his qualifying run, the 36-year-old says his lap could have been even better, but he left some speed on the table.
“Actually, it didn’t even show the potential in the top 10. I couldn’t get it turned in Turn 6. So, I think we were about third or fourth there potentially. There’s a lot more coming from me,” Andretti added.
The 2022 Camping World SRX Series Champion also talked about the chances he’s gotten now between his NASCAR Truck Series debut, and returning to SRX.
“I’m definitely open to all of it. I think that’s the beauty of my schedule,” Andretti explained. “That’s why I had a big smile on my face because I can still win the golden goose at Indy and really take opportunities as they may come. The start, when I went into semi-retirement, SRX was the perfect timing for that. Filling six more races with my buddies, just having fun there. But that, actually, running good in that opened my eyes to running some other stuff. Really, really enjoying myself.”
Andretti also spoke on the differences he’s faced with the Trucks as compared to IndyCar in the past here.
“Stock cars and IndyCars are almost like [comparing] baseball and basketball. For me to go quicker today, I actually had to slow down. That’s a good thing I think. I’d rather have to slow somebody down rather than having to speed them up. The potential is there,” Andretti added.
Andretti will look to gain even more speed as Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 rolls on, but he’s already impressed mightily in the qualifying session for the race.
You can catch Andretti’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut on Saturday, July 8th at 1:30 PM with television coverage being provided by FS1.