Andretti Autosport has never been a team
to get shy with its Verizon IndyCar Series
car counts, and its 2015 full-time line-up of
three, plus a fourth entry with a rotating
driver roster, and a fifth Dallara-Honda at
the Indianapolis 500, continues the theme.
True, this might mean that individual
drivers don’t get to be the full focus of the
team’s effort the way their counterparts in
single-car teams do. But Ryan Hunter-Reay
has won both an Indy 500 and an IndyCar
Series title as a component of a much
larger machine, and he believes that the
benefits are worth the complications.
“At times, taking on more cars is
definitely a challenge,” he says. “There’s
nothing easy about it, no matter how big
the team is or how many personnel there
are. But we use that to our advantage,
because five cars means we get five times
the amount of data for the Month of May.”
According to Hunter-Reay, the structure
that makes it a success comes from the
top, but it requires a focused effort from
the guys in the trenches to make it work.
THE SUM IS GREATER THAN THE PARTS
capable of winning, whether it’s on a road or
street course, or at the Indy 500. The team
as a whole has become very, very effective at
adapting and taking on more cars. And each
additional entry is prepared with the same
amount of detail as the regular-season cars.
“The results speak louder than anything
else. When you have someone come in like
Carlos Munoz did with us at Indy in 2013, or
Kurt Busch last year, you see the cars are
just as fast as the full-season entries.”
In Munoz’s case, the result was second
overall; for NASCAR ace Busch it was sixth,
with both earning Rookie of the Year honors.
But to work effectively, the multi-car
ethos requires a specific type of mindset
from a driver to buy into the idea of the
sum being greater than the parts.
“You have to have a lot of cooperation,”
Hunter-Reay says. “You all need to have a
‘team first’ mentality. You can’t be guarded
or selfish about what you find on the race
track. The more you work with your
teammates, the more you all communicate,
the better your results will be on race day.”
Andretti Autosport’s well-established multi-car approach has paid dividends in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
As a series and Indy 500 champ,
Ryan Hunter-Reay can vouch for
the efficiency and adaptability of the
Andretti Autosport race teams.
Marco Andretti (left) has driven for his
father’s team since 2006, with Ryan
Hunter-Reay coming onboard in 2010.
“The structure and the working
environment have to be there to make it a
success,” he says. “To translate into results
on the race track, it has to be very
organized and I think that certainly has to
come down from upper management.
“But the guys on the shop floor have
done such an amazing job of preparing cars