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Younger Andretti carries on famous racing name

SoVaNow.com / April 30, 2018

He certainly carries a famous American racing name, but veteran driver Jarett Andretti is still figuring out the Pirelli World Challenge.

Andretti, from Indianapolis, Indiana, finished 11th Saturday in the developmental TCR class in PWC action at VIR.

“It’s just totally different from anything I’ve ever done,” said Andretti, a veteran of oval and dirt racing.

He’s making the adjustment to different PWC cars. He also is learning how to adapt to road racing and the new rules and procedures of PWC series action. Andretti is making the adjustment from rear wheel drive racing he’s used to, adapting to the front wheel drive power of the No. 18 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

“Everything’s on the front. You have to think about that constantly,” said Andretti.

Andretti is a bright, personable N.C. State graduate, with a positive outlook.

He’s making progression to making the adjustment to road racing, and diversifying his racing resume.

Now 25, Andretti is positive about his role in the PWC at the moment. He took Saturday’s back of the pack finish in stride.

“Today was all right. I think we had good speed. On the initial start, I just waited a little bit too long to shift and bounced off (another competitor) and lost a couple of spots. We started picking guys off and I kind of got into it with (another competitor).

“I didn’t mean to, it was totally on accident…He broke a little earlier than I expected to, so I took an evasive maneuver,” said Andretti, who apologized.

The team fixed the toe and the bumper and went back to PWC action yesterday. Andretti is a cousin of Marco Andretti, nephew of Michael Andretti, grandson of Aldo Andretti and great-nephew of Mario Andretti.

Andretti is seeking to diversify his resume this year.

“We don’t know what the future holds for us, but I really enjoy racing here in the World Challenge. I enjoy running my sprint car. I just enjoy racing in general, I would like to continue to progress in World Challenge. I love the TCR class, it’s a lot of fun, it’s highly competitive. I’d like to do some more pavement asphalt stuff. I enjoy the oval racing; it’s where I have the most experience. We’ll take it as it comes, kind of go from there, Worst case scenario, I could drive sprint cars the rest of my life,” said Andretti.

Andretti first appeared on the national radar by competing full time in the USAC National Sprint Car and Silver Crown Series, earning rookie of the year honors in the sprint car class at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Indiana. He’s won several championships in go-karts, USAC Midget Eastern Ignite Pavement Cars and the Indiana Sprint Car Series. His career has slowed in recent years due to a lack of funding.

Team owner David Tilton is a retired U.S. Navy veteran and Andretti Autosport chassis owner.

“I am humbled that Andretti has chosen us,” Tilton said. “We have hired a lot of different drivers in the past, but Andretti brings a lot of youth and talent to our team, .... He’s really eager to show what he can do and that he belongs in the Pirelli World Challenge TCR Racing Series.”

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