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Marco Andretti: Leading the right laps will be the difference

Jan 30, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

Auto Club Speedway - Day 1 Getty Images

Few would argue that Marco Andretti was one of IndyCar’s most improved drivers in 2013.

Come 2014, all the Nazareth, Pa. driver needs to do to improve to that next, championship-contending caliber level is lead the right laps after leading way too many of the wrong ones this past year.

“If you look at what cost us wins last year, really we just need to do a lot of the same things we did last year and really capitalize on leading those laps by leading the right laps,” Andretti told IndyCar.com. “The disappointing stat for me is 1,000 laps led (Andretti has led 907) but only two victories. Really, we need to be there when it counts.”

And through most of the first half last year, Andretti was. But potential wins at Milwaukee and Pocono went begging either for mechanical gremlins or poor fuel mileage, incidentally, while leading and unable to run in a draft.

Meanwhile, Andretti’s consistency throughout the year carried him to a career-best fifth in points. He scored two podiums, third at both St. Petersburg and Brazil, and secured 15 top-10 finishes in 19 races.

Now, Andretti seeks to build on the pair of career victories he has earned in IndyCar. He begins his ninth season in the series this March, the same month he’ll turn 27.

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