Andretti makes Indy return

Mario Andretti completed his first laps in a single-seater racecar for nine years at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today (Wednesday), completing three laps of the circuit driving a Dallara-Honda run by the team his son Michael co-owns

Andretti makes Indy return

After completing his runs for Andretti Green Racing, the US racing legend said that he had no plans to compete in the 87th Indianapolis 500 next month, but he might attempt to qualify a car for the injured Tony Kanaan, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a crash at the Motegi IRL race.

"Am I rekindling a career? Hell, no," Andretti said with a laugh. "It's something that's giving me an opportunity to test myself again at this stage in my life and see where I am with the thing that I love so much."

The current plan is to prepare Mario to qualify the car if Kanaan can't do it, said Michael Andretti. Mario will practice in the car during the week leading up to pole qualifying. If Kanaan isn't ready, Mario will try to qualify the car. After that, he'll step aside.

Andretti Sr completed three laps of the speedway in the morning practice session, driving the team's test car. "This is a huge thrill," he said. "It's something that certainly wasn't planned and certainly doesn't carry any further than this. For me, it's dealing with a challenge. I usually don't back away from a challenge, so here we are."

The 63-year old insisted that he has no intention of racing. "That's not in the cars at all," he said.

Kanaan is confident that he will return in time for the race, although he was unsure if he would be ready in time for qualifying. However, he was enjoying the experience of having Andretti Sr drive his car.

"I wasn't even born when he started racing," Kanaan said. "I grew up with the legend of Mario Andretti. All of a sudden, Michael says, 'Hey, Dad's going to set up your car for you. He says it will be his pleasure.' I was like, 'Come on. Do I deserve that much?' I'm telling all my friends the same thing: 'I'm taking some time off. Guess who's setting my car up for me?'"

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