Andretti Autosport, one of the powerhouse teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series, had a successful season if you base success on championhships: Ryan Hunter-Reay became the first American to win the IndyCar title since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006. But Andretti Autosport is a three-car team - and sometimes five - and success can't be based on one car alone. Here's a look at the complete Andretti Autosport season.
Ryan Hunter-Reay - In 2011, Hunter-Reay couldn't make the field at the Indy 500 (he would substitute for Bruno Junquiera in an A.J. Foyt ride), but in 2012 there was nothing slowing him down. Hunter-Reay was equally at home on ovals as on road courses (two wins on each), and recorded six podium finishes; he won all four races in the final eight events of the season, including three in a row (Milwaukee and Iowa ovals and the streets of Toronto). He trailed Will Power by 17 points going into the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, but came out ahead after some early race misfortunes for Power.
James Hinchcliffe - the Ontario, Canada native was the "GoDaddy Guy" for Andretti this season, the named replacement for Danica Patrick after Dan Wheldon's passing in the final race of 2011. The second-year driver earned seven top six finishes in the season's first eight races, but recorded only one more in the final seven - still, his eighth-place finish in points was an improvement on Patrick's 10th-place finish in her final year of IndyCar competition.
Marco Andretti - the third-generation driver had a disappointing season, struggling to a 16th-place finish in points. Outside of a second-place finish at Iowa, Andretti had just two eighth-place finishes - his top finishes of the season; he also had three finishes of 24th or worse. The disappointments were made worse by the reoccurrence of the "Andretti Curse" at Indianapolis: after leading 59 laps - the race high - he hit the Turn 1 wall on Lap 188 of the 200-lap race, finishing 24th.
Part-time rides - Andretti Autosport entered into technical alliances Conquest Racing and driver Ana Beatriz for the event at Sao Paulo, Brazil (her home track) and the Indy 500; she finished 20th in Brazil and 23rd at Indy. They also formed an alliance with AFS Racing and driver Sebastian Saavedra for three races, including the Indy 500; Saavedra finished 26th at Indy, 15th at Sonoma and 21st at Fontana. The Andretti/AFS alliance also entered Saavedra in the Indy Lights Series for 2012, earning a win at Barbder Motorsports Park in Alabama and finishing fourth in points.
Paula is a long-time auto racing fan who covers the sport at Skirts & Scuffs and Examiner.com.