Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Marco Andretti making NASCAR Truck debut at Mid-Ohio

Marco Andretti is back in a stock car, or would it be more accurate to say stock truck?

As part of a new partnership with Gainbridge via parent Group 1001, Spire Motorsports announced Wednesday that Andretti will make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series début on Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He will drive the #7 Chevrolet Silverado RST.

“I can’t wait to get my feet wet in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series,” said Andretti. “I’m grateful for Group 1001 and Spire Motorsports for making this happen. I have a lot of laps in an IndyCar around Mid-Ohio. It’s going to be a bit different but a lot of fun. The Cup Series guys I have spoken to said I will love it.”

Gainbridge is closely affiliated with Andretti Autosport, with the former’s CEO Dan Towriss being a co-owner in the team alongside Andretti’s father Michael. The younger Andretti raced for the team in the NTT IndyCar Series from 2006 through 2020, winning twice before transitioning to an Indianapolis 500-only slate.

Since retiring from IndyCar, Andretti has mainly focused on closed-wheel racing such as IMSA and NASCAR. In 2022, he ran the Xfinity Series race at the Charlotte Roval but was taken out by a crash and classified thirty-sixth. He also competed in the Superstar Racing Experience that summer, winning the championship by two points, and he will try to defend his SRX title in 2023.

Mid-Ohio was on the IndyCar schedule every year during Andretti’s career save for his rookie season. In fifteen tries, his best finish was seventh in 2011.

Spire’s #7 races part-time in the Truck Series with multiple drivers. The truck has entered five races so far in 2023 with Alex Bowman, Jonathan Davenport, Corey LaJoie, and Kyle Larson making starts; Larson won at North Wilkesboro. Its début season in 2022 saw a win at Martinsville.

LaJoie races for Spire in the Cup Series, where he and team-mate Ty Dillon will both drive Gainbridge-sponsored cars.