Although Mario Andretti has announced that this is his final racing season, he is not leaving the way A.J. Foyt, Richard Petty and some others left--as noncompetitive drivers hanging on and embarrassing themselves.
Andretti figures to be competitive in today's Indy 500. He qualified ninth in a Lola-Ford Cosworth and has been running well. On Thursday, he had the quickest car on Carburetion Day.
"I'm not saying I'm as quick as I used to be, but I'm quick enough to be involved," Andretti said. "I feel that I'm still a factor, and I can be part of the boys who are playing up front."
Last year, Andretti led 72 of the 200 laps and was still in front after 435 miles.
"I could have won it except for a bad set of tires we put on during my last pit stop," he said. "They unbalanced the car, and I dropped back and finished fifth. But I had been in the hunt."