Championship-Winning Andretti Sets Date for NASCAR Debut

Getty Marco Andretti will make his NASCAR debut in October.

A new driver is about to take on the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Marco Andretti, the winner of the Camping World SRX Series Championship, will make his debut while driving the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro.

Big Machine Racing announced the news on August 7. Owner Scott Borchetta revealed that Andretti will take over the No. 48 Chevrolet for the trip to the Charlotte Roval on October 8. He will make his debut in a national NASCAR series after spending 15 seasons as a full-time IndyCar Series driver.

Andretti will make his series debut at the Charlotte Roval, a race that he called fitting due to the track being home of NASCAR. However, he doesn’t plan on making this a one-off. His goal is to compete in several races. The October trip to the Charlotte Roval will just be the site of his debut.

Andretti will be the latest member of his family to make a foray into NASCAR. His relative, John Andretti, competed in open-wheel series and the three national NASCAR series. He made 393 starts in the Cup Series and secured two wins. His grandfather, Mario Andretti, became the only man in history to win a Formula 1 championship, the Indy 500, and the Daytona 500.

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Andretti won the SRX Series Championship After an Injury

Marco Andretti

GettyMarco Andretti won the SRX Series championship.

Andretti has not competed full-time in the IndyCar Series since the 2020 season. He competed in the 2021 and 2022 Indy 500s while also running in both of the Camping World SRX Series seasons.

Andretti’s second season was a picture of consistency. He started with seventh and eighth-place finishes in the first two main events before securing a second-place finish behind defending champion Tony Stewart at Stafford Motor Speedway. Andretti then added two more second-place finishes at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and I-55 Raceway.

The main event finishes were not the only factors in Andretti’s march to the championship trophy. He also had consistent performances during the heat races that preceded each main event on the schedule.

Andretti entered the final race weekend of the year with the opportunity to secure the championship win. He captured enough points to achieve this goal while also fighting through some unexpected issues. He broke his wrist in the second of two on-track incidents, but he continued pushing through the pain.

“The cool thing about this is, you get damage you can still play and stay on the lead lap,” Andretti told Willy T. Ribbs after the race. “I broke my wrist in that last little thing, I got my thumb caught in the wheel. It was a painful last couple of laps. I just wanted to recover and finish right where I needed to finish, and we were able to do that.”

Big Machine Racing Has Different Plans for the 2023 Season

Tyler Reddick

GettyBig Machine Racing has used several drivers in 2022.

The 2021 season, Big Machine Racing’s first in the Xfinity Series, featured Jade Buford as the primary driver. He made 32 starts while Danny Bohn made one. The lineup changed for 2022 after Buford experienced some struggles early in the season.

Big Machine Racing has turned to multiple drivers for the 2022 season, which includes such names as Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon, Buford, Kaz Grala, Ty Dillon, and now Andretti. There will also be some others that take part before the end of the year.

Borchetta revealed during the IndyCar Series weekend in Nashville that a new name will take over for a superspeedway race. He told The Sports Credential that Parker Kligerman will drive the No. 48 at Talladega Superspeedway. Borchetta also reiterated that ARCA Menards Series championship contender Nick Sanchez will run four races for the team.

This trend may not continue in 2023. Borchetta added during his availability that the team is looking at the option of having one full-time driver for the future. Though the team owner did not provide any hints about whom this may be.

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