As a child, we were told the parable of The Prodigal Son. But when you talk about racing in Indianapolis and the Andretti family, it’s the story of The Prodigal Track.
In 54 attempts by the Andrettis, they've only come up with one Indianapolis 500 win.
The Average Joe sports fan might assume that the marquee IndyCar race is a given for the Andrettis, who, after all, own the most recognizable name in all of auto-racing. Surely they've celebrated numerous Indy 500 wins, but no, the Brickyard hasn't been kind to racing's first family. The patriarch of the sport, Mario Andretti, has the family's only win.
"One win for our family, in 1969. That's the only time our family won. I'm really looking forward to trying to win it," said Marco, the grandson of the racing icon.
Sunday, Andretti Autosport will try for only their second Indy win during the centennial running of the race.
In 2006, at 19-years-old and in his rookie season, Marco finished second in the race. Since then, he's had two third-place finishes and two crashes.
"Its frustrating. We just talk about it on all the plane rides home and talk about how we could have won it. I think as [a] family we've been pretty dominant there, even myself a couple times, but then we've given up a win," said Marco, as he tries to reason with the dubbed "Andretti curse."
Marco's father set the record for most laps lead by a non-winner.
"My dad (Michael) had a lap on second place, almost, and the car decided to stop working. The engine let go with 10 laps to go in the race. For whatever reason, we just come up short," said Marco.
But much like the parable we heard as children, the Andrettis embrace the legendary track even as they search for redemption following decades of heartache.
"That place means the world to me," said Marco "I'm chomping at the bit to have another shot at winning it. I live my life around this sport and that race in particular."
With that trademark Andretti smile, Marco assures they'll break the curse. When he does, the prodigal track will finally return the Borg-Warner Trophy to racing's first family after more than 40 years.
Andretti starts the 100th Indy 500 in the ninth row with teammate Danica Patrick.
Whether Andretti wins or not, we'll see Sunday's winner in Fort Worth on May 31 when the Indy 500 winner arrives as a guest of Texas Motor Speedway at Frankie's Bar and Grille. For more details on the Indy 500 winner appearance, or the upcoming race, head to www.texasmotorspeedway.com.
The next IndyCar race in Texas is the Firestone Twin 275s on June 11 at TMS.