By: Spencer Neff
April 12, 2019 | 3:11 PM
May will be a busy month for the Andretti family at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In addition to Andretti Autosport fielding five cars for the Indianapolis 500, the 50th anniversary of family patriarch Mario’s Indianapolis 500 win (the family’s only win in the race) will be celebrated.
For Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 run during Carb Day (May 24th), the team will add a fourth car to the lineup.
Today, it was announced that Jarett Andretti will run that car. He will become the latest member of the Andretti family to race at IMS.
“To say I’m excited to run the Freedom 100 this year would be an understatement,” said Andretti.
“Anytime you get a chance to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway it’s special. Obviously, Andretti Autosport has a great track record there and I’ve known all the mechanics on the cars for years – I can’t wait to get the Month of May started!”
He joins Andretti Autosport’s full-time lineup of Ryan Norman, Oliver Askew and Robert Megennis. On April 18, Andretti will be on track with Megennis and Askew for Rookie Orientation at Kentucky Speedway.
Jarett is the son of former racing driver John Andretti (Aldo’s son and Mario’s nephew). From 1988 to 2011, John raced in the 500 on 12 occasions.
In 1991, John earned his best start of 7th and finish of 5th. That year, he joined Mario along with cousins Michael and Jeff in the race.
All four drivers appeared in the race together again in 1992. John also ran in NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 at IMS seven times (best start of 9th and finish of 7th in 1998). 2019 is also the 25th anniversary of John Andretti’s historic “Memorial Day Double”.
In 1994, he became the first driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 (started and finished 10th) and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte (started ninth and finished 36th) on the same day.
Although the Andretti family has a lengthy history at IMS, only Marco has made an appearance in the Freedom 100 as a driver. In 2005, he started 10th and finished 16th.
Jarett will be looking to add to Andretti Autosport’s recent success in the Freedom 100.
The team has won two of the last three editions of the race, including a 1-2 finish with Colton Herta (Andretti Steinbrenner) and Pato O’Ward in 2018. Dean Stoneman won the race for Andretti in 2016.
“I’m really happy to field a car at IMS for Jarett,” said team owner Michael Andretti.
“Running in an Indy Lights car will be a new experience for him, and I know he’s up for the challenge. Our Indy Lights team has shown strong pace this season, and we have a Freedom 100 title to defend.”
Currently, Jarett races for Andretti in the Pirelli GT4 America Series. In four races this season, he has earned a best finish of eighth (St. Petersburg 2). As his car owner in GT4 and now Indy Lights, Michael expressed optimism for Jarett’s upcoming efforts.
“Jarett is already a team driver on the GT4 side, and I’m confident he is going to fit into the Indy Lights team well. He will be a contender and an instant crowd favorite,” Andretti noted.
At 26, Jarett Andretti makes his Indy Lights debut with a solid record in racing to his credit.
His racing accomplishments include USAC Eastern Ignite Pavement Midget Series and 410 Sprint Car division championships, as well as 2014 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of The Year and former Rookie of The Year at the Oswego Speedway in the supermodified class.
On-track preparations for the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway begin Monday, May 20 with testing followed by Thursday qualifying (May 23) and race day Friday, May 24.
Header Image By Brian Simpson/INDYCAR