Marco Andretti stepping away from full-time IndyCar racing in 2021

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In what he said was an opportunity to “reset” his racing career, Marco Andretti announced Friday that he will step away from his full-time duties in the NTT IndyCar Series for 2021.

The third-generation driver still will race in the 105th Indianapolis 500 and left open the possibility of running additional IndyCar events this season.

He also will work with Andretti Autosport during preseason testing and development, including an upcoming Jan. 19 test session at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

“I am fortunate to be in a position at Andretti Autosport to run the full IndyCar season if I want to. But, instead, I have decided to change up my direction somewhat – to reset – to do something a little different – look at everything fresh and see where that takes me. And, to me, now seems like the appropriate time to do that,” Marco said in a statement that he initially posed through social media.

“I definitely am going to keep driving. I still have a deep passion for it and have unfinished business to take care of and some boxes that I want to check before I consider retiring as a driver.”

Along with his scaled-back work in IndyCar, Marco also expressed interest in running sports car events, including some IMSA events with his cousin, Jarett Andretti. Last October, Andretti Autosport announced an LMP3 program for the IMSA Prototype Challenge series with Jarett as a driver.

“I’ll be looking into other sports car opportunities as well in the coming months and welcome discussions in that regard,” Marco continued. “Marquee events like the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and Le Mans would be on that list for sure.”

The Indianapolis Star reported that Andretti Autosport would scale back from five to four full-time cars next season. Ryan Hunter-Reay became the team’s third confirmed driver Thursday, joining Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta, and James Hinchcliffe is expected to return toa full-time seat.

Marco has made 248 NTT IndyCar Series starts over the past 15 seasons, earning two victories at Sonoma Raceway in 2006 and Iowa Speedway in 2011.

He also won the pole position for last year’s Indianapolis 500, which made him the first Andretti to pull off the feat since his grandfather, Mario Andretti, in 1987. The “500” has traditionally been Marco’s best race; in addition to his narrow runner-up to Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006, he has finished third in the race on three separate occasions (2008, 2010, 2014).

Marco’s best showing in the IndyCar standings was a fifth-place finish in 2013. That season was highlighted by podium finishes at St. Petersburg, Florida and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“I think for any multi-generational athlete, it can be really challenging to find your own ground and make your own name on top of your family’s,” his father, Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti, said in his own statement. “Marco has always had the courage to chart his own path and I’m proud of the career he’s built for himself and the person he’s become. I know this decision wasn’t easy.

“But, like he has said, this is not retirement. He has some great accomplishments behind him and I think he still has many more ahead of him. He’s offered to help us out with some testing, I’m looking forward to having him back with us for the 500, and hopefully maybe a few more races through the season.”

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series
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After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi