Marco Andretti, No. 25 Dr Pepper Chevrolet
Entering the Grand Prix of Baltimore race weekend ranked fourth in the standings, Marco Andretti is on target to record his career best IndyCar points finish this season and is still in the hunt for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship title. Andretti sits only 70 points out of the lead with four races remaining. The American’s best finish at Baltimore Inner Harbor’s street circuit came in 2012 with a 14th-place effort.
“The team’s sister company, Andretti Sports Marketing, puts so much work into this race – and it’s so close to home for me – so it’d be great to win this weekend for those reasons. But, really, we must win for the championship – we only have four races yet and it’s still in sight. This has been a tough one in the past, and I have this track marked as one where I want to show strong improvement, so I’d really like to see the Dr Pepper Chevy make the (Firestone) Fast Six so we can really give it our best shot come race day.”
Did You Know: With the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in the books, Marco has turned over 17,000 laps in IndyCar race competition.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet
Returning Baltimore winner and series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay sits just 62 points behind the title leader with four IndyCar races remaining this season. The American has 11 career wins to his credit and recorded his career best Baltimore start in 2011 with a sixth-place qualifying run.
“Looking forward to the Baltimore Grand Prix weekend – another Andretti Sports Marketing event; it’s a great race and a great city. This weekend last year is where, I think, I won the championship, and it’s another pivotal weekend for our championship race for 2013. We’ve got a points gap to close, and this is a huge opportunity for us prior to heading to a double race weekend at Houston. Hopefully we can get the DHL Chevy to the top again.”
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet
GoDaddy spokesman James Hinchcliffe started the 2012 Grand Prix of Baltimore from the fifth position, 10 spots higher than his rookie start on the 12-turn circuit in 2011. The three-time IndyCar race winner is currently ranked ninth in the championship standings with eight top-10 finishes this season.
“Baltimore is a great event with a challenging little track. Most of it is newly paved and really nice to drive on, but then the last chicane and front straight are incredibly bumpy and really tough on the car and driver. We had a tough weekend here last year, but I think we’ve been generally stronger on the street circuits this year, so hopefully we can bring home a solid result for Andretti Autosport and the GoDaddy Chevy.”
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet
With a best finish of ninth in 2012′s Grand Prix of Baltimore, E.J. Viso will make his third start on the temporary street circuit during the holiday weekend race. The 28-year-old Venezuelan is currently 12th in the championship points fight.
“Now we’re heading into a few street courses – they’re pretty much the tracks I like the most. I think we are extremely due for good results; the podium is waiting for us. I think Baltimore will be a great opportunity to do that. Baltimore is a great track with a good combination of corners, and with the progression that we’ve had this year, Baltimore will be a good opportunity to put all the things we’ve done so far to the test. To do well at the Grand Prix of Baltimore will be even more special as Andretti Sports Marketing and Andretti Autosport have been hosting and putting together this race — that means a lot to the drivers of Andretti Autosport to be able to race and do well in our own venue.”