Nazareth, PA 18064
Nice single-lap speed run at Indy on Friday! Top of the charts 233! Wow. Then you went and took the pole for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” I definitely will give you props on that one. Impressive!
I know I couldn’t manage close to that speed in an Indy car — if I could even be wedged into one — although I am driving a 1965 Shelby GT350 race car at Willow Springs this coming weekend – and that should be pretty darn cool.
Because of your moment of brilliance at Indy, many inside and outside of my circle reminded me of a bet that I made with you back in 2017. Of course, you were offended and didn’t take the bet. As a matter of fact, despite standing behind you in the chow line in the Andretti compound at the Long Beach race in 2018, you would not even look at me. I’m guessing you were a little pissed. Your dad, Michael, didn’t seem happy with me either – but as always – Grampa Mario smiled and said “hi.”
The bet was simple: You win a race during the 2017 season; I eat a crow (marinated and slow roasted on my Weber Kettle). You go yet another season without a win? You retire and allow someone who can actually race into your seat.
In light that your name still gets sponsors (though they seem to be more interested in hanging with Gramps), the “screen time” sponsors seek from major sports-event marketing has been lacking as you are usually running with the “crowd” and not up front. That certainly changed this weekend, but I still remain skeptical.
I know, the Andrettis have a twisted history at the Speedway. Gramps’ only win there was before you were even an itch you your pre-pubescent dad’s pants. Your dad didn’t fare any better, despite all his other IndyCar, CART and ChampCar wins and titles. In a way, it’s almost like the Curse of the Billy Goat in Chicago and the Curse of the Babe in Boston.
Let’s call that curse it what it is: The second most famous words in racing, “Andretti is slowing down!”
Good news for you is that both the Cubs and the Red Sox broke those curses – it only took a century for them, however. So perhaps you will have a son who can win the race?
The original 2017 Crow was thawed and returned to the earth in a Facebook Live burial service at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – a couple of markers down from the late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell. It was a lovely ceremony. Not sure if you saw it? I heard from many in management at IndyCar that they were watching. So unfortunately, that one may be experiencing severe decomposition.
But you are in luck! Since moving to Phoenix to take my new gig as managing editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal, I settled into a nice townhouse on the 8th hole of the Arizona Grand Resort. In the evenings, I enjoy walking my dog, Enzo, on the course. Guess what I found after hearing of your triumphant lap?
Clearly this poor crow was caught by surprise but got away to quietly die with only a single coyote bite. Fresh too! I immediately scooped up the dead bird; dropped it in a gallon-sized ZipLoc bag; and put it in the freezer.
Ok, so here’s the deal my “lucky sperm club” friend: I’m going to fire up the Weber and have a bone-in ribeye steak ready to go (because you know I will be eating it), but just in case, I will have the unfortunate raven plucked and marinated — just in case you break the curse of the Andrettis.
Now your end of the bargain: You don’t win the big race, I want to race you in equal cars at Wild Horse Pass here in Arizona. 10 laps in F4 cars at Bondurant. Loser buys dinner.
Will you take that bet Marco? I’m not asking you to retire, as I can’t interfere with your business like that. But I think I could take you in equal cars.
Good luck in the 500. We will be standing by.