Et Tu, Andretti? Latest IndyCar Team Owner To Plead For Gimme At 500, Series Management Apparently On Board

Et Tu, Andretti? Latest IndyCar Team Owner To Plead For Gimme At 500, Series Management Apparently On Board

(Photo credit: – Since we told you about Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi basically begging for guaranteed qualifying spots for full time series running IndyCar teams the other day, the response has been wild. So many of you out there are vehemently opposed to the thought of this, let alone its implementation that we will continue to follow the story.

Unfortunately, today we are following it with bad news as Michael Andretti, the third of the “big three” teams owners in IndyCar has jumped on board with the other two guys to effectively strong-arm the sanctioning body into this idea. Even worse is that comments made in the IndyStar story linked below seem to indicate that this is not only an idea that the series management likes, but an idea that has already been discussed and settled on for the future. 2019 may be the last Indy 500 with actual qualifying involved in it’s storyline. Oh, and we know, there are not 33 full time teams so there will be bumping and stuff happening “just like always”. Yeah, unfortunately that will be happening among cars that do not have the steam to compete and that are driven by people that no one knows or will spend the time to know.

This quick snip from the story that is linked below tells you all that you need to know about how far gone this situation is:

He was excited to learn that Penske and Ganassi were on the same page and said that IndyCar President Jay Frye supports such a change. 

“I know Jay is actually for this, as well,” Andretti said. “We still got to work on (IndyCar CEO) Mark (Miles). He’s the one who still wants to keep it the way it is.” 

Miles denied that he and Frye aren’t aligned in their thinking. 

“I talk to Jay about it often, including (Wednesday),” Miles told IndyStar on Thursday. “I think we’re very much aligned.” 

Asked where he stood on the issue, Frye said Thursday: “With the the input of our paddock and broadcaster partner NBC, we worked diligently on this year’s format and are excited to see how it all plays out.” 

Andretti, Penske, and Ganassi are the three most powerful guys in IndyCar racing and if they all present a united front on this, it’s all but done. The sanctioning body cannot even stand the threat of one of them leaving or one of their sponsors leaving and that’s what this all apparently comes down to, fear. The fear of missing the race and losing a sponsor, the fear of the big teams in the series struggling, the fear of failing to make the show.

If I were a sponsor and got told that we were guaranteed a spot in the 2020 Indy 500 and the best my team could do was to snatch the 21st starting position and finish somewhere around the same spot, I’d do some research to see how much coverage James Hinchcliffe got last year by missing the show, because it’s a truckload more than some trundling mid-pack finisher will get.

And if you think this is the last step in the process of what these guys want you are out of your mind. Next it will be an award of a better starting spot on the grid because of your position in season points entering the race. You can already see that coming. After all, if these decisions are sponsor based, fear based, and apparently weakness based, what’s the next step?

Oh, and if you hate this you are not alone. The IndyStar website did a survey and 85% of respondents thought this idea was horrible.

Indy 500: Andretti next owner caterwauling for locked in qualifying spots 

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21 thoughts on “Et Tu, Andretti? Latest IndyCar Team Owner To Plead For Gimme At 500, Series Management Apparently On Board

  1. Chas

    The photo posted is of John Andretti. Michael Andretti owns the Indy car team. John has nothing to do with it.

  2. Davey

    Total Joke… Once again motorsports is bowing to “Those with the most money”. If you are one of the “Big 3” and IndyCar racing can’t survive without you then there is a serious problem with IndyCar. If you are one of the “Big 3” and you are worried about not qualifying then you maybe you’re not as “big” as you thought.

    Guaranteeing these teams qualifying spots and – even worse – guaranteed qualifying positions, is not fair to any other team busting their ass but not in the good graces of the sanctioning body. It creates a “Too Big to Fail” scenario with these teams… What’s next… guaranteed wins ??

    1. Bill Campana

      They will never learn. Once again big money ruining racing. In my estimation Indy Car is eating itself, and becoming another failure.

      Whatever happened to innovation, the ability for an average guy trying his talents and ideas? Instead, only a rich few buy store bought, cookie cutter creations to play in a dying race venue, they themselves are killing? This is typical racer mentality. “If some is good, more is better, and too much is just enough”, I think that quote is attributed to Tommy Ivo, but true.

  3. David

    I won’t watch, qualifying or the 500 under Those rules.

    Making the Indy 500, should mean something!

    So what’s next…how about, if you have three manufacturers…each gets 11 starting spots, whether their fast enough, or not!?!?!?!

  4. Bill

    Nope, done, not watching Indy Car if these dopes get their way!!

    This doesn’t surprise me though, these are the same idiots that caused the decline in open wheel racing in the US with their feud that split racing into two factions a while back. Ganassi and Andretti have been whiners for a long time, but I am so disappointed in The Captain taking this position… shame on you Roger!

  5. john

    We had “helicopter parents” now “snow plow” parents…how about ” pardon my bucks” racing??? Hope the guys at BS give us some viewing alternatives that Sunday. Is there NASCRAP to watch????

  6. Vincent Nemanic

    So let\’s see … If each team increases their entry size to 8 or 10 cars, they are practically assured of a win. Really fair!

  7. HotRodPop

    So, everyone gets a gold star and a pat on the head? I’m vehemently against street racing, even though I’ve done a bit when I was young and dumb, but is that the only thing real anymore?

  8. Patrick

    Dumbasses, people are finally getting interested in open wheel again and the same asshats that screwed it up the first time are going to do it again.

    Somehow I don’t think Mario, Parnelli, AJ, the Unsers, etc would go for this as drivers.

  9. Piston Pete

    Really sad. I haven’t been to the 500 in over 20 years and I used to go a lot. 1st time in 1966. Growing up in Indy in the 50s and 60s, the 500 meant something and it meant something all over the world. Now I fear it’s just a joke, like so many traditions. I know now what my dad meant 30 years ago when he said he was glad to be old so he wouldn’t have to live to see it all go to hell. He also said the taxi cabs should stay out on 16th Street when NAZZCAR came to the Speedway.
    Money spoils everything eventually. I still have my front row west side seats at the Nationals this year and may go to the NHRA race at Gateway, but the events I’m really looking forward to this summer are the Southeast Gassers event in London, KY. in 2 weeks and Funny Car Chaos at Havanna, IL. in July. My post isn’t the best or most well informed on this topic, but I still get a star, right?

  10. bob

    I sent a message to Robin Miller’s mailbag asking why they, at, who are the main info site for indy car, at least I think so, are quiet on this issue. I used the term crickets as a descriptive term of their reporting on the subject. See what happens.

  11. aussie351

    Why don’t they just skip the hassles and give them all a First Place trophy right now

  12. James T Suel

    One of the things that makes the Indianapolis 500 the great event it is, is the fact that you must earn your way into the field! The integrity of the 500 will be lost, and the race will be meaningless! This sport is on its way back to the top, is starting to get a tv audience back, and then the sponsors will be back. after all don\’t forget we have been in one of the best economy in 20 + years. These are the same big teams that cried when TG did his 25/8 deal at the start of the IRL. They ran there cart series into the ground! I,am beginning to think they are afraid of the competition! I herd Robin Miller , who I think is the best in his field, say he is for this nonsense. He is drinking the bs the team owners are spewing! I have a lot of respect Robin, and all these team owners but they are wrong!! If this happens in 2020 I fear it will be the beginning of the end! I love the speedway and the 500 mile race, this will be my 59th consecutive 500,all since 1960. There is no welfare in racing! earn your way in.

  13. David Scott Coker

    Lost interest years ago. Would like to see the Cummins race cars this year but probably won\’t make it. The IZOD fiasco was too much for me. Have not paid much attention since then. I grew up listening on the radio every year but the series has just gotten too weird,

  14. James

    If the “big boys” get a free pass into the race, invert the field, like at the small tracks. If you’re so good you could at least pass the field in 500 miles! As far as exposure, Dale Jarrett went with UPS sporsorship in NASCAR after most of his big wins, UPS did get lots of great exposure every race when he either crashed or had mechanical issues.

  15. Nitromike66

    What the hell are they bitching about, I don’t think any of Penske, Gannassi or Andretti’s cars have ever failed to qualify. They can pull all their big money, strong arm bullshit with any other race in the series, but leave the Indy 500 alone.

  16. bob

    It’s been days since this article was posted so I don’t imagine anyone will read this, but an update to my earlies post, the email I sent to Robin Miller at, he responded and he’s pissed that I would critisize him and question his integrity, and I mean pissed. My email was the first answer in this weeks mailbag and he went off on a major rant. I literally was laughing out loud. There were many others who sent emails not liking their proposed changes.

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