Recap: Desert Diamond Phoenix Grand Prix

QUALIFYING.
Marco Andretti and his Oberto Circle K team struggled during both the practice and qualifying sessions before discovering a mechanical issue that led to the third-generation driver’s car dragging on the track during his qualifying attempt. After working diligently to fix the issue, the team was confident in the No. 98 for the 250-lap race.

CHASING THE CHECKERS.
Third-generation racer Marco Andretti came to Phoenix ready to drive his way to Victory Lane on weekend honoring the 25th anniversary of the 52nd and final race win of grandfather Mario Andretti’s career, but victory in the desert wasn’t in the cards for Andretti and his Andretti-Herta Autosport crew. Andretti drove an aggressive race full of a veteran’s skill and determination, but the No. 98 – dressed in a throwback Newman/Haas 1993 livery – fought an aero imbalance all night preventing the 98 from advancing on track. Behind on wing adjustments, it was the last stint before the car settled into a competitive rhythm on the racetrack. Despite the on-track competitiveness, the Oberto Circle K crew brought Andretti in and out of the pits flawlessly all night with swift pit stops.
NEXT.
The Verizon IndyCar Series is headed to the west coast for the 44th edition of the Grand Prix of Long Beach. The 85-lap street race will go green on Sunday, April 15, at 4:42 p.m. ET with live coverage available on NBC Sports Network beginning at 4 p.m.

IN HIS WORDS.

“Nice work to the Oberto Circle K crew for getting me in and out of the pits smoothly all night. We had a big day ahead of us from the start, starting 20th after a dropped skid in qualifying. Tonight, I think we were just down on COP all day. The number was just so low that we didn’t trust it – I think we were around 5% low off of what my teammates were running. We were just way behind on front wing all day and just kind of hanging on. I’m not thrilled to finish P12, but with what we were working with all day it was a decent result for us. We put the 98 to its limits tonight for sure.”

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