All things considered, Marco Andretti's wreck with 12 laps to go (per Yahoo Sports) in the 2012 Indy 500 is his worse setback at the Brickyard. There always seems to be something that prevents Marco Andretti from winning the Indy 500, and today a late wreck ended his dream.
He was unable to finish the race and was officially 24th overall.
In 2006 Marco seemingly had the race in hand, but Sam Hornish Jr. swooped in to snatch victory from Andretti in the final seconds. Without a question, that was a huge pill to swallow, but here is why I believe this year's loss was even worse.
He Was Contending
Andretti was eighth when the wreck occurred, but make no mistake: He was in the race.
With a few adjustments, a mishap here or there by his opponents could have put Andretti in great position to win.
All you need is a chance at the finish—Hornish Jr. proved that to Andretti in 2006—but all those thoughts went for naught after the crash.
Confidence and Attitude
Marco seemed so confident he could capture victory today. Jim Peltz of the LA Times quoted Andretti as follows:
"I think this is our race to lose, I really do," Andretti said after one of his practice runs around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Why? Because of the car I just drove."
He believed in his car, and he seemed eager to prove to the world that this was his time.
"This is one of my best shots at it," Marco Andretti said. "I look at [winning] this race, obviously, as a potential turning point in the season. But it's a game changer for my life."
When you place so much emphasis on achieving in one particular event and you fall short, it can be devastating.
Andretti was only 19 years old when Hornish Jr. nipped him in 2006.
It was his first Indy 500, and the adage that ignorance is bliss surely applied. Though he had seen his father struggle to win at Indy, he couldn't have had any concept of just how hard it would be to win at the Brickyard.
Fast-forward six years to a more mature, painfully-aware and 24-year-old Andretti, and these lost opportunities begin to hurt even more.
Marco is a strong guy, and he will rebound from this defeat. I don't doubt that one day he will capture an Indy 500 victory.
But there is no doubt that this one will sting for a long while.
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