How Marco Andretti will win the Indianapolis 500 (Prediction)

Jamie Squire

Marco Andretti will score the biggest victory of his career in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. The following is a prediction of how SB Nation IndyCar reporter Matt Weaver thinks he will get it done.

The following post is a complete guess, is just for fun and has no bearing on the actual Indianapolis 500. So don't take this prediction to Las Vegas, Atlantic City or whichever fine establishment you like to invest your earnings into -- assuming that's your thing.

Just keep in mind that I wrote this on Friday morning before the Freedom 100 so recent history indicates that we very well might see the following finish play out:

Marco Andretti will drive to victory lane on Sunday, breaking the Andretti Curse and capping off the most dominant month of May any team has ever had the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Andretti will earn the biggest win of his career in grand fashion, defeating both members of the three-time race winner's club in Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves late in the race, making what should have been seen as a dominant victory almost look like an upset.

The final restart will come with 12 laps to go and all the leaders will hit pit road, eliminating all strategy elements from the final stint of the race. Scott Dixon will exit with the lead, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Franchitti and Castoneves.

Andretti will exit sixth.

Just as driver and crew spent all two weeks working towards, Andretti's blue RC Cola No. 25 will work the best in the draft during the final stretch. After losing two spots on a frantic final restart, Andretti will eventually work his way back and all the way to fourth with just seven laps to go.

Race-leading Castroneves, Dixon and Franchitti will be in the third-generation driver's eyesight.

First Franchitti will dispose of his teammate, Dixon for second on the frontstretch, coming to five laps to go. Andretti will follow going into turn one, nearly spinning on the bottom line exactly as Takuma Sato did at the end of the 2012 race but Andretti will make it stick.

Four laps to go.

Out front in clean air will make Castroneves a sitting duck. Franchitti will take him in the turn one/two short shute but now Dario will have to deal with the abrasive and obstructive wall of air and Helio has a hole in the stream -- it will invite him back to the top spot as Andretti starts to close.

Three laps to go.

It will be like 2006 all over again but this time Marco is the third-place driver. Seven years ago saw Andretti lose the Indianapolis 500 in a similar fashion but it won't be clear whether or not the notion has dawned on him yet. Andretti will watch coming to two laps to go as Franchitti completes another pass on Castroneves and Andretti will follow him through.

Two laps to go.

Andretti will spend the next lap just riding in Franchitti's slipstream, the two pulling away from Castroneves, his shot to win a fourth Indianapolis 500 fading in the twilight. Andretti will not make the same mistake that Sato did in 2011. He's going to wait until the backstretch, ducking out on the last lap, completing the pass before diving violently into turn three -- lap traffic will not be an issue and Marco Andretti will just barely hold off Franchitti's last ditch frontstretch effort and win the 97th Indianapolis 500.


What do you think -- would you want to see this finish play out on television? How do you think the final laps of the Indianapolis 500 will play out? Tell us in the comments section below.

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