IndyCar: No, Marco Andretti is not retiring

Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta Autosport, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta Autosport, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Marco Andretti is not retiring from IndyCar competition; he is simply moving on from his full-time driver role in the series to focus on the Indy 500 and perhaps a few other races.

Marco Andretti announced on Friday that he would be stepping away from the role he has had in IndyCar for the last 15 seasons with Andretti Autosport, the team owned by his father and former driver Michael Andretti.

The 33-year-old Nazareth, Pennsylvania native has competed in 248 consecutive races going back to his series debut in 2006, a streak which ranks second among active streaks behind Scott Dixon (260) and third on the all-time list behind Dixon and Tony Kanaan (318).

That streak will come to an end when the 2021 season gets underway in April.

However, Andretti isn’t actually retiring from racing, which is something that both he and the team made clear.

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He is simply moving on from his full-time role as the driver of the #98 Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian Honda. He still plans to play a role in fielding the #98 entry in the series, which he has done since 2019, and he still plans to compete in the 2021 Indy 500 as the reigning polesitter.

In fact, he hasn’t ruled out competing in other races either, not just in IndyCar but in other racing series such as IMSA as well.

“I definitely am going to keep driving,” Marco said in his announcement. “I still have a deep passion for it and have unfinished business to take care of and some boxes that I want to check before I consider retiring as a driver.”

His father backed that statement.

“Like he has said, this is not retirement,” Michael said. “He has some great accomplishments behind him and I think he still has many more ahead of him. He’s offered to help us out with some testing, I’m looking forward to having him back with us for the 500, and hopefully maybe a few more races through the season.”

No other races have been confirmed for Marco for 2021.

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The 2021 season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, April 11 at Barber Motorsports Park after the initial season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, which was set for Sunday, March 7, was postponed to Sunday, April 25 as a result of coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions.