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Michael Andretti is the most preeminent figure in the group of drivers synonymous with misfortune at the brickyard.
The second-generation racer has led a combined total of 431 laps at Indy, placing him 10th on the all-time list. Four-time champion Rick Mears and three-time winners Louis Meyer and Johnny Rutherford have led fewer laps.
In his debut race in 1984, Andretti was recognised as rookie of the year by qualifying fourth and finishing fifth, aged 20. In 1986, he led the opening 41 laps after qualifying third, but ultimately had to settle with a sixth-place finish.
Andretti finished fourth in 1988 and suffered an engine failure in the 1989 edition whilst leading on the 163rd lap.
In 1991, he led six times for combined total of 97 laps but was taken by Rick Mears on Lap 187 before finishing second by 3.149 seconds. In 1992, Andretti’s car suffered a broken fuel pump on 160 and was able to continue until Lap 190 when it came to a stop. Andretti had led 160 laps of the oval. In the same race, his father and brother suffered bad crashes.
His final Indy 500 brought a third-place finish in 2006. Racing alongside his son, Marco, Michael found himself leading with three laps to go but was overtaken by his son and Sam Hornish, Jr.
“I should have won it so many times, but Indianapolis was a race track where everything seemed to go wrong for me,” Andretti once said.
Since becoming a team owner, Michael has had the opportunity to drink the winner’s milk, winning in 2005 with Dan Wheldon and 2007 with Dario Franchitti.