This Indy 500 was no different than the past 18 for the Andretti family. Nobody won.
"The usual racing luck that hits the Andrettis at the Speedway showed up again," said Aldo Andretti, Mario's twin brother.Mario, 47, trying for his first victory at the speedway since 1969, pitted for 22 minutes early in the race Sunday and fell 20 laps behind. Later, an electrical problem forced him out completely.
His son, Michael, 25, fared better, finishing fourth after being dropped from third when Brazil's Emerson Fittipaldi was reinstated as the runner-up. But John, 25, who is Aldo's son and Mario's nephew, blew an engine with 86 laps left and couldn't finish his first Indy 500.
"We were trying to salvage what we could out of the day," Mario said. "I mean, when you come to Indianapolis, you're here for so long that you don't want to give up unless you really have to give up."
Michael said it was a frustrating day because he had no horsepower.
"The car in the end was good through the corners, but didn't have enough speed on the straightaways. It made for a long day for me," said Michael, who was disappointed even though his finish put him atop the CART-PPG point standings.
"All I can do is go home and pout over it and come back next year and hopefully get rid of the Andretti bad luck in Victory Lane," John said.
Michael and John were just kids when Mario last won. Aldo says the two are like brothers. And Mario gets a gleam in his eye when he talks about racing against them.
"Obviously, it's a great thrill for us to be together in the same race," Mario said. "It's something we look forward to, especially with Michael, because he's at the level for us to be competitive. That's kind of an added thrill for me that I never experienced before my kids got in the race."