Marco Andretti has announced today that he will not just drive in the #98 Andretti Herta Honda in the 2019 IndyCar Series, but that he will also become an investor into the team. The entry will officially become known as Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian for the foreseeable future.
“I’m happy and proud to invest back into the team that I have been with for 13 seasons and counting,” Marco said in today’s announcement.
“I truly believe this is the best team out there and I’m looking forward to a fun, competitive future with the No. 98 family.”
For the last two years, the #98 car in the IndyCar Series has been run by Bryan Herta Autosport in conjunction with Andretti Autosport. Alexander Rossi drove the #98 car in his debut season, where he memorably managed to take a stunning victory at the 2016 Indianapolis 500.
Rossi remained in the #98 Herta entry for the 2017 season, where he would go on to take a dominant victory at Watkins Glen later in the season. However, it was announced prior to the start of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series that Andretti Autosport had elected to reshuffle their entries, placing Rossi into the #27 car previously occupied by Marco, with Marco switching over to the #98 Herta entry.
Marco went on to have a reasonable 2018 campaign, slightly improving upon his 2017 results by moving from twelfth in the overall standings to ninth. Sadly for Marco, he would remain winless for another season, having last taken a win in 2011 at Iowa Speedway. His season highlight for 2018 would be the first race at the Duel in Detroit, where Andretti took his first pole position in five years and went on to finish the race strongly in fourth place.
Today’s announcement of Marco’s investment into the #98 team may be a sign of a potential move into team ownership after his driving career includes. This would mirror the move that his father, Michael Andretti, made after the conclusion of his full-time driving career in 2003.
After today’s announcement, Michael released a statement where he said that he was “proud” of his son for seeing “the big picture of racing” but he went on to state that Marco still had “many driving years ahead of him”.
“I’m proud to see Marco looking beyond the racing seat and taking a vested interest in not just his car entry, but the future of motorsport that can one day take him beyond his driving career,” Michael’s statement read,
“Marco has many driving years ahead of him and many victories yet to come but is continuing to see the big picture of racing and that will, in turn, make him a stronger competitor all around.”
Marco and the #98 team will once again race alongside his Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay, Zach Veach and Alexander Rossi in 2019. He will be hoping that he can join Hunter-Reay and Rossi in being much further up the championship order by the end of the season.
The 2019 IndyCar Series will kick-off with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 10.