The All-American Team: Andretti Autosport. They had a great season; they’ve got (3) great drivers. 2018 was a great season for them, and 2019 is going to be even better.
The patriarch of the team: Ryan Hunter-Reay had a fantastic year. A win in Detroit, multiple podium finishes and only a few uncool finishes. RHR is just that consistent driver who is going show up, do the job, and keep and moving. He’s the workhorse, plus he’s actually a really nice guy. It’s no surprise he’s chosen to represent America in the Race of Champions. Really, after Josef Newgarden, he is the most American driver in the paddock. This past season seemed much better for the driver then in 2017, both in performance and his overall Excited to see what 2019 brings!
Then there’s the youngest member of the team: Zach “Fireball” Veach. There are a lot of nicknames, but I like Fireball. The smartest thing Zach Veach and Michael Andretti did was to sign a three-year contract. Zach had a solid rookie season, coming in fifteenth in the standings. He brought the car home every race. Even when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway tried to set it on fire three times (the track was jealous of the car’s sweet sweet paint job) he finished the race. Zach had five top-ten finishes during the season and made it into the Firestone Fast Six at the Portland Grand Prix.
Moreover, Zach Veach has had a great trajectory of learning. Towards the back half of the season, he was not only driving to finish a race but getting aggressive and challenging other drivers. Challenging drivers who were some of the top names in the series. He has two years left on his contract with Andretti Autosport. I anticipate Veach will put his dogged determination to work and will start the 2019 season even stronger.
How many times do I have to tell you people Alexander Rossi is a fantastic driver? This season he’s had three first-place finishes, and then eight top-five finishes, and four top ten finishes. He was in the championship fight with Scott Dixon until Lap 1 of Sonoma (which I still do not want to talk about). Besides that, the man drove like he stole that car at multiple races. Remember back to Phoenix race where an issue put him a lap down and he cut through the field? I do. He was responsible for nineteen percent of the passes in that race – which was approximately fifty-one passes. Of course, there is also his master class on passing during the Indianapolis 500. He officially gained twenty-eight spots, though he was third for a bit (so actually twenty-nine). Within twenty-one laps of the race, he was up six spots. Watching a highlight reel of his passing during that race is amazing. Next year – he’s got it!
Marco. Oh Marco. It wasn’t a horrible season for the legacy driver – he did end up with one pole and a handful of top-ten finishes. After the 2017 season, he switched, officially, over to the Herta-Andretti. This time he switched to Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian (AHAMACA because I refuse to write that out more than once). Maybe having a buy-in and true financial stake in the car will change his overall performance for the better.