Race Weekend Central

Marco Andretti: ‘I Would Never Say Never’ to Full-Time NASCAR Gig

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Marco Andretti’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut got off to a great start at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, when he qualified seventh in his Spire Motorsports No. 7.

See also
Corey Heim Fastest in Truck Qualifying at Mid-Ohio

Despite a short practice session and not many qualifying laps, Andretti told reporters after qualifying that he was having more fun than he did when he made his NASCAR debut in the Xfinity Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL in 2022.

“Having laps on the track definitely helped me, because my learning curve was a lot steeper in the Xfinity car at the ROVAL,” Andretti said. “I didn’t have fun at the ROVAL.”

The defending Camping World SRX Series champion was announced as the driver of the truck this week as part of a partnership between Spire and Group1001. Subsidiary Gainbridge not only sponsors Truck Series rookie Nick Sanchez, but the company also sponsors IndyCar driver Colton Herta, who drives for the Michael Andretti-owned Andretti Autosport.

The partnership, as well as the announcement that Marco would drive Spire’s truck at Mid-Ohio, reopened the rumor mill that Andretti Autosport was interested in breaking into NASCAR.

In a short time, the rumors have grown dramatically from Andretti starting its own team to Andretti outright buying Spire Motorsports’ operations. Compounding this theory is that Gainbridge’s CEO Dan Lowriss recently joined the ownership group for Andretti Autosport.

Add Marco’s Truck Series debut with that very team, with sponsorship from Gainbridge’s parent company, and those rumors are only increasing.

While Marco didn’t give away any secrets as to what Andretti Autosport has planned for 2024, he did mention a full-time NASCAR season piques his interest.

“I think the ship has sailed on full-time IndyCar,” he said. “You know, I would never say never (to a full-time NASCAR ride). I love this stock car stuff, so who knows what the future holds.”

Worst comes to worst, his SRX experience has given him more confidence to try his hand at a short oval.

“The mile-and-a-halfs, Kyle Busch said I would love it, and I think that would be a steep learning curve for me, seeing how those guys run so close to the wall to be fast. So, I want to just challenge myself and see how we get on in different circuits.”

Since 2021, Marco’s only IndyCar races have come in the Indianapolis 500. With no commitments other than the Indy 500 and the six-week SRX schedule in the summer (which runs on Thursday nights, by the way), Andretti could be in NASCAR sooner than expected.

See also
Fire on Fridays: Drivers Who Should Race SRX in 2023

Whether it’s driver Andretti, owner Andretti or both is still up for debate.

About the author

Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. Currently, he is an editor and co-authors Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is now a grad student. He is a theatre actor and fight-choreographer-in-training in his free time. He is a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Carolina Panthers, still hopeful for a championship at some point in his lifetime.

You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

4 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
jim

Remember when Marco was asked about his favorite movie years ago he mentioned “Talladega Nights” because they mocked Nascar….my how times have changed

Shayne

Defending SRX champion. That ought to get you a free refill at Starbucks.

FranInAtlanta

He looks so much like John Andretti.

Steven

I’d love to see Marco go Nascar. I believe he’s a top notch race car driver. 🏁

Share via